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Rare Measurements of a Sprite With Halo Event Driven By a Negative Lightning Discharge Over Argentina
Geophysical Research Letters
  • Michael J. Taylor, Utah State University
  • M. A. Bailey, Utah State University
  • Pierre-Dominique Pautet, Utah State University
  • S. A. Cummer
  • N. Jaugey
  • J. N. Thomas
  • N. N. Solorzano
  • F. Sao Sabbas
  • R. H. Holzworth
  • O. Pinto
  • N. J. Schuch
Document Type
American Geophysical Union
Publication Date

As part of a collaborative campaign to investigate Transient Luminous Events (TLEs) over South America, coordinated optical, ELF/VLF, and lightning measurements were made of a mesoscale thunderstorm observed on February 22–23, 2006 over northern Argentina that produced 445 TLEs within a 6 hour period. Here, we report comprehensive measurements of one of these events, a sprite with halo that was unambiguously associated with a large negative cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning discharge with an impulsive vertical charge moment change (DMQv) of 03 This event was similar in its location, morphology and duration to other positive TLEs observed from this storm. However, the downward extent of the negative streamers was limited to 25 km, and their apparent brightness was lower than that of a comparable positive event. Observations of negative CG events are rare, and these measurements provide further evidence that sprites can be driven by upward as well as downward electric fields, as predicted by the conventional breakdown mechanism.


Published by the American Geophysical Union in Geophysical Research Letters.

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Citation Information
Taylor, M.J., M.A. Bailey, P.D. Pautet, S. A. Cummer, N. Jaugey, J. N. Thomas, N.N. Solorzano, F. Sao Sabbas, R. H. Holzworth, O. Pinto and N. J. Schuch, Rare measurements of a Sprite with Halo event driven by a negative lightning discharge over Argentina, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L14812, doi:10.1029/2008GL033984, 2008.