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A statistical lightning model.

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The detailed spatial and temporal influence of lightning on precipitation losses from the Earth's radiation belts is not yet well known. The precipitation is mainly due to the pitch angle scattering of electrons by lightning induced whistler mode waves. The World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) gives continuous real-time global lightning coverage with excellent time resolution. The detection effciency of WWLLN is unfortunately relatively low. This led to the normalisation of WWLLN with reference to Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS)/Optical Transient Detector (OTD) data. LIS/OTD has very good detection effiency and spatial resolution. However, whereas WWLLN records strokes, LIS/OTD record flashes. Therefore the flash multiplicity had to be taken into account. The normalised WWLLN flash densities were compared to those of the South African Weather Service (SAWS) data, National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN) and the European LINET network. Then the average power per lightning flash was calculated to determine the energy flux incident on the ionosphere. Finally the WWLLN data was transformed to geomagnetic (MAG) coordinates using the Altitude Adapted Corrected Geomagnetic (AACGM) code. By applying absorption curves, the energy flux into the magnetosphere was estimated. These values were then compared to Trimpi produced Whistler-Induced Electron Precipitation (WEP) rates.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville, 2012.


Lightning., Theses--Physics.