Studies of an artificially generated electrode effect at ground level
Abstract. The outdoor experiments, using a metallic grid above the ground surface, have yielded well-defined vertical profiles of the space-charge density. The profiles showed strong evidence for the existence of an electrode effect, which could be named the artificial electrode effect and can serve as a very useful and well-controlled model for the study of atmospheric electric processes in the atmospheric surface layer. The build-up or break-down of an electrode-effect layer occurred in a time of the order of 10 s under the experimental conditions realized. The artificially generated electrode effect is dependent on the electrical field strength supplied, wind speed, turbulent mixing and ion mobilities. Wind speed and ion mobility seem to be the dominant factors, defining space-charge density profiles. A theoretical model for the artificial electrode effect has been developed, taking into account turbulent mixing of charged particles in the air flow with the logarithmic profile of the wind velocity. The numerical analysis of the boundary value problem for the two-dimensional equations for the light ion concentrations has been performed. The model presented shows a qualitative agreement of calculated space-charge profiles with measured ones, and explains the dependence of the artificial electrode effect on the dominant control parameters. The limiting conditions for the developed theory are discussed.