skip to main content


Title: The origin of infrasonic ionosphere oscillations over tropospheric thunderstorms

Thunderstorms have been observed to introduce infrasonic oscillations in the ionosphere, but it is not clear what processes or which parts of the thunderstorm generate the oscillations. In this paper, we present a new technique that uses an array of ground-based GPS total electron content (TEC) measurements to locate the source of the infrasonic oscillations and compare the source locations with thunderstorm features to understand the possible source mechanisms. The location technique utilizes instantaneous phase differences between pairs of GPS-TEC measurements and an algorithm to best fit the measured and the expected phase differences for assumed source positions and other related parameters. In this preliminary study, the infrasound waves are assumed to propagate along simple geometric raypaths from the source to the measurement locations to avoid extensive computations. The located sources are compared in time and space with thunderstorm development and lightning activity. Sources are often found near the main storm cells, but they are more likely related to the downdraft process than to the updraft process. As a result, the sources are also commonly found in the convectively quiet stratiform regions behind active cells and are in good coincidence with extensive lightning discharges and inferred high-altitude sprites discharges.
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9380
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Journal of Geophysical Research. Space Physics; Journal ID: ISSN 2169-9380
American Geophysical Union
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
58 GEOSCIENCES; Ionosphere, thunderstorm
OSTI Identifier: