Articles | Volume 34, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 34, 157–164, 2016
Ann. Geophys., 34, 157–164, 2016

Regular paper 01 Feb 2016

Regular paper | 01 Feb 2016

A statistical study over Europe of the relative locations of lightning and associated energetic burst of electrons from the radiation belt

F. Bourriez1, J.-A. Sauvaud1, J.-L. Pinçon2, J.-J. Berthelier3, and M. Parrot2 F. Bourriez et al.
  • 1IRAP, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie, Toulouse, France
  • 2LPC2E/CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique et Chimie de l'Environnement et de l'Espace, Orléans, France
  • 3LATMOS/CNRS/UVSQ/UPMC, Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieu, Observations Spatiales, Guyencourt, France

Abstract. The DEMETER (Detection of Electro-Magnetic Emissions Transmitted from Earthquake Regions) spacecraft detects short bursts of lightning-induced electron precipitation (LEP) simultaneously with newly injected upgoing whistlers. The LEP occurs within < 1 s of the causative lightning discharge. First in situ observations of the size and location of the region affected by the LEP precipitation are presented on the basis of a statistical study made over Europe using the DEMETER energetic particle detector, wave electric field experiment, and networks of lightning detection (Météorage, the UK Met Office Arrival Time Difference network (ATDnet), and the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN)). The LEP is shown to occur significantly north of the initial lightning and extends over some 1000 km on each side of the longitude of the lightning. In agreement with models of electron interaction with obliquely propagating lightning-generated whistlers, the distance from the LEP to the lightning decreases as lightning proceed to higher latitudes.

Short summary
The purpose of our paper was to provide a statistical study of one of the interactions between lightning and particles occurring above thunderstorms. In our case, the satellite DEMETER was able to measure the energy of both particles and lightning. By correlating those measurements with lightning detection, we were able to determine the position of the causative lightning. The aim of this research was mainly to prepare the next spacecraft mission, which will study thunderstorms from space.