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Radio Science

Characteristics of M-component in rocket-triggered lightning and a discussion on its mechanism

Authors

  • Rubin Jiang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Xiushu Qie,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    • Corresponding author: X. Qie, Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China. (qiex@mail.iap.ac.cn)

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  • Jing Yang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Caixia Wang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Middle Atmosphere and Global Environment Observation, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
    2. Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
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  • Yang Zhao

    1. Laboratory for Climate Environment and Disasters of Western China, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, China
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Abstract

[1] The current and electric field pulses associated with M-component following dart leader-return stroke sequences in negative rocket-triggered lightning flashes were analyzed in detail by using the data from Shandong Artificially Triggering Lightning Experiment, conducted from 2005 to 2010. For 63 M-components with current waveforms superimposed on the relatively steady continuing current, the geometric mean values of the peak current, duration, and charge transfer were 276 A, 1.21 ms, and 101 mC, respectively. The behaviors of the channel base current versus close electric field changes and the observation facts by different authors were carefully examined for investigation on mechanism of the M-component. A modified model based on Rakov's “two-wave” theory is proposed and confirms that the evolution of M-component through the lightning channel involves a downward wave transferring negative charge from the upper to the lower channel and an upward wave draining the charge transported by the downward wave. The upward wave serves to deplete the negative charge by the downward wave at its interface and makes the charge density of the channel beneath the interface layer to be roughly zero. Such modified concept is recognized to be reasonable by the simulated results showing a good agreement between the calculated and the measured E-field waveforms.

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