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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 36, issue 2
Ann. Geophys., 36, 349-360, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-349-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Special issue: Space weather connections to near-Earth space and the...

Ann. Geophys., 36, 349-360, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-36-349-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Regular paper 09 Mar 2018

Regular paper | 09 Mar 2018

Relationship between ionospheric plasma bubble occurrence and lightning strikes over the Amazon region

Jonas Sousasantos, José Humberto Andrade Sobral, Esfhan Alam Kherani, Marcelo Magalhães Fares Saba, and Diovane Rodolfo de Campos Jonas Sousasantos et al.
  • Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais-INPE, São José dos Campos, São Paulo, 12.227-010, Brazil

Abstract. The vertical coupling between the troposphere and the ionosphere presents some remarkable features. Under intense tropospheric convection, gravity waves may be generated, and once they reach the ionosphere, these waves may seed instabilities and spread F and equatorial plasma bubble events may take place. Additionally, there is a close association between severe tropospheric convection and lightning strikes. In this work an investigation covering an equinox period (September–October) during the deep solar minimum (2009) presents the relation between lightning strike activity and spread F (equatorial plasma bubble) detected over a low-latitude Brazilian region. The results show a considerable correlation between these two phenomena. The common element in the center of this conformity seems to be the gravity waves. Once gravity waves and lightning strikes share the same source (intense tropospheric convection) and the effects of such gravity waves in the ionosphere include the seeding of instabilities according to the gravity waves magnitude, the monitoring of the lightning strike activity seems to offer some information about the subsequent development of spread F over the equatorial region.

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The relationship between the tropospheric convection and the ionospheric phenomenology have been investigated in recent decades. In this work a relation between the lightning strike activity and the characteristics of the equatorial spread-F events is analyzed over the Brazilian region, and the results seem to support the hypothesis of some indirect interrelationship between both distinct phenomena.
The relationship between the tropospheric convection and the ionospheric phenomenology have been...
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