Why is lightning more intense over the oceans?

Mustafa Asfur, Colin Price, Jacob Silverman, Asher Wishkerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Over the last few decades it has been shown in numerous studies, using different observational approaches that although less frequent, lightning over the oceans is significantly more intense than over land. To study this difference we set up a laboratory experiment in which we examined the flash intensity of generated lightning strikes as a function of the salinity of the water into which they were discharged. Our experiments clearly showed that the intensity of lightning increased exponentially with the concentration of dissolved salts in the water. We hypothesize that the higher conductivity of the saline water, compared to moist soil, results in a more efficient charge transfer to the surface, resulting in larger peak current discharges and brighter optical flashes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105259
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Volume202
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd

Funding

The authors would like to thank the Technical team at Ruppin academic center Mr. Yosi Moas and Mr. Asher Azoli. Special thanks to Dr. Sharon Shwartz and Mr. Sason Sofer from BIU. Special thanks to Dani Ramot (Fritzi) from IOLR for his invaluable help with the electronical aspects of the experimental setup. This work was supported by the Research Authority Ruppin academic center . The authors would like to thank the Technical team at Ruppin academic center Mr. Yosi Moas and Mr. Asher Azoli. Special thanks to Dr. Sharon Shwartz and Mr. Sason Sofer from BIU. Special thanks to Dani Ramot (Fritzi) from IOLR for his invaluable help with the electronical aspects of the experimental setup. This work was supported by the Research Authority Ruppin academic center.

FundersFunder number
IOLR
Research Authority Ruppin academic center

    Keywords

    • lightning
    • ocean land difference
    • salinity

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'Why is lightning more intense over the oceans?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this