Fractal structure of sprites



A large scale model of sprites based on a phenomenological probabilistic approach to modeling of streamer corona discharges is developed. The model utilizes the experimentally documented macroscopic properties of positive and negative streamer corona in air and allows a realistic determination of the propagation of multiple breakdown branches in a self-consistent electric field. The model results reproduce the large scale volumetric shapes of sprites, agree with the experimentally documented thundercloud charge moment changes in sprite producing cloud to ground lightning discharges (CGs), and demonstrate fundamental asymmetries between sprites generated by CGs of positive and negative polarity.