Global lightning distribution and whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand

A. B. Collier, S. Bremner, J. Lichtenberger, J. R. Downs, C. J. Rodger, P. Steinbach, G. McDowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand, are an enigma since they do not conform to the classical model of whistler production developed by Storey (1953). It is generally accepted that the causative lightning stroke for a whistler observed on the ground at a particular location was located in the neighbourhood of the conjugate point, and generated an electromagnetic signal which propagated in a plasmaspheric duct stretched along a magnetic field line linking the two hemispheres. The causative stroke is thought to have occurred within reasonable proximity of one footpoint of this field line, while the observer was located in the vicinity of the other footpoint. Support for this model has come from a number of previous studies of whistler-lightning observations and whistler-induced particle precipitation. However, as demonstrated here, this model does not always apply.

Whistlers detected at Dunedin are nearly as common as those at Tihany, Hungary, despite there being at least 3 orders of magnitude more lightning in Tihany's conjugate region compared to that of Dunedin. Furthermore, whereas Tihany whistlers are generally observed at night, consistent with historical observations, Dunedin whistlers occur predominantly during the day.

This paper aims to resolve two paradoxes regarding whistler occurrence at Dunedin: (i) an observation rate which is at variance with conjugate lightning activity, and (ii) a diurnal occurrence peak during daylight. The technique developed by Collier et al. (2009) is used to diagnose the location of the source lightning for Dunedin whistlers. It is found that the majority of the causative strokes occur within a region extending down the west coast of Central America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-513
Number of pages15
JournalAnnales Geophysicae
Volume28
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Fingerprint

whistlers
New Zealand
lightning
strokes
conjugate points
occurrences
Central America
particle precipitation
Hungary
paradoxes
hemispheres
ducts
coasts
night
proximity
distribution
electromagnetism
magnetic field
coast
magnetic fields

Keywords

  • Electromagnetics (Guided waves; Wave propagation)
  • Magnetospheric physics (Plasma waves and instabilities)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Geology

Cite this

Collier, A. B., Bremner, S., Lichtenberger, J., Downs, J. R., Rodger, C. J., Steinbach, P., & McDowell, G. (2010). Global lightning distribution and whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand. Annales Geophysicae, 28(2), 499-513. https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-28-499-2010

Global lightning distribution and whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand. / Collier, A. B.; Bremner, S.; Lichtenberger, J.; Downs, J. R.; Rodger, C. J.; Steinbach, P.; McDowell, G.

In: Annales Geophysicae, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2010, p. 499-513.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Collier, AB, Bremner, S, Lichtenberger, J, Downs, JR, Rodger, CJ, Steinbach, P & McDowell, G 2010, 'Global lightning distribution and whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand', Annales Geophysicae, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 499-513. https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-28-499-2010
Collier, A. B. ; Bremner, S. ; Lichtenberger, J. ; Downs, J. R. ; Rodger, C. J. ; Steinbach, P. ; McDowell, G. / Global lightning distribution and whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand. In: Annales Geophysicae. 2010 ; Vol. 28, No. 2. pp. 499-513.
@article{4c1324c48891458da929eae6c4001c5d,
title = "Global lightning distribution and whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand",
abstract = "Whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand, are an enigma since they do not conform to the classical model of whistler production developed by Storey (1953). It is generally accepted that the causative lightning stroke for a whistler observed on the ground at a particular location was located in the neighbourhood of the conjugate point, and generated an electromagnetic signal which propagated in a plasmaspheric duct stretched along a magnetic field line linking the two hemispheres. The causative stroke is thought to have occurred within reasonable proximity of one footpoint of this field line, while the observer was located in the vicinity of the other footpoint. Support for this model has come from a number of previous studies of whistler-lightning observations and whistler-induced particle precipitation. However, as demonstrated here, this model does not always apply. Whistlers detected at Dunedin are nearly as common as those at Tihany, Hungary, despite there being at least 3 orders of magnitude more lightning in Tihany's conjugate region compared to that of Dunedin. Furthermore, whereas Tihany whistlers are generally observed at night, consistent with historical observations, Dunedin whistlers occur predominantly during the day. This paper aims to resolve two paradoxes regarding whistler occurrence at Dunedin: (i) an observation rate which is at variance with conjugate lightning activity, and (ii) a diurnal occurrence peak during daylight. The technique developed by Collier et al. (2009) is used to diagnose the location of the source lightning for Dunedin whistlers. It is found that the majority of the causative strokes occur within a region extending down the west coast of Central America.",
keywords = "Electromagnetics (Guided waves; Wave propagation), Magnetospheric physics (Plasma waves and instabilities)",
author = "Collier, {A. B.} and S. Bremner and J. Lichtenberger and Downs, {J. R.} and Rodger, {C. J.} and P. Steinbach and G. McDowell",
year = "2010",
doi = "10.5194/angeo-28-499-2010",
language = "English",
volume = "28",
pages = "499--513",
journal = "Annales Geophysicae",
issn = "0992-7689",
publisher = "European Geosciences Union",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Global lightning distribution and whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand

AU - Collier, A. B.

AU - Bremner, S.

AU - Lichtenberger, J.

AU - Downs, J. R.

AU - Rodger, C. J.

AU - Steinbach, P.

AU - McDowell, G.

PY - 2010

Y1 - 2010

N2 - Whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand, are an enigma since they do not conform to the classical model of whistler production developed by Storey (1953). It is generally accepted that the causative lightning stroke for a whistler observed on the ground at a particular location was located in the neighbourhood of the conjugate point, and generated an electromagnetic signal which propagated in a plasmaspheric duct stretched along a magnetic field line linking the two hemispheres. The causative stroke is thought to have occurred within reasonable proximity of one footpoint of this field line, while the observer was located in the vicinity of the other footpoint. Support for this model has come from a number of previous studies of whistler-lightning observations and whistler-induced particle precipitation. However, as demonstrated here, this model does not always apply. Whistlers detected at Dunedin are nearly as common as those at Tihany, Hungary, despite there being at least 3 orders of magnitude more lightning in Tihany's conjugate region compared to that of Dunedin. Furthermore, whereas Tihany whistlers are generally observed at night, consistent with historical observations, Dunedin whistlers occur predominantly during the day. This paper aims to resolve two paradoxes regarding whistler occurrence at Dunedin: (i) an observation rate which is at variance with conjugate lightning activity, and (ii) a diurnal occurrence peak during daylight. The technique developed by Collier et al. (2009) is used to diagnose the location of the source lightning for Dunedin whistlers. It is found that the majority of the causative strokes occur within a region extending down the west coast of Central America.

AB - Whistlers observed at Dunedin, New Zealand, are an enigma since they do not conform to the classical model of whistler production developed by Storey (1953). It is generally accepted that the causative lightning stroke for a whistler observed on the ground at a particular location was located in the neighbourhood of the conjugate point, and generated an electromagnetic signal which propagated in a plasmaspheric duct stretched along a magnetic field line linking the two hemispheres. The causative stroke is thought to have occurred within reasonable proximity of one footpoint of this field line, while the observer was located in the vicinity of the other footpoint. Support for this model has come from a number of previous studies of whistler-lightning observations and whistler-induced particle precipitation. However, as demonstrated here, this model does not always apply. Whistlers detected at Dunedin are nearly as common as those at Tihany, Hungary, despite there being at least 3 orders of magnitude more lightning in Tihany's conjugate region compared to that of Dunedin. Furthermore, whereas Tihany whistlers are generally observed at night, consistent with historical observations, Dunedin whistlers occur predominantly during the day. This paper aims to resolve two paradoxes regarding whistler occurrence at Dunedin: (i) an observation rate which is at variance with conjugate lightning activity, and (ii) a diurnal occurrence peak during daylight. The technique developed by Collier et al. (2009) is used to diagnose the location of the source lightning for Dunedin whistlers. It is found that the majority of the causative strokes occur within a region extending down the west coast of Central America.

KW - Electromagnetics (Guided waves; Wave propagation)

KW - Magnetospheric physics (Plasma waves and instabilities)

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77149153736&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77149153736&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.5194/angeo-28-499-2010

DO - 10.5194/angeo-28-499-2010

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:77149153736

VL - 28

SP - 499

EP - 513

JO - Annales Geophysicae

JF - Annales Geophysicae

SN - 0992-7689

IS - 2

ER -