ISSN 2070-7401 (Print), ISSN 2411-0280 (Online)
Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa


Sovremennye problemy distantsionnogo zondirovaniya Zemli iz kosmosa, 2015, Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 188-202

Investigation of structural characteristics of electrical turbulence in thunderstorm clouds and the effect of electrical subsystems of powerful atmospheric vortices on their dynamics

N.S. Erokhin 1 , I.A. Krasnova 2 , S.N. Artekha 1 
1 Space Research Institute RAS, Moscow, Russia
2 Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, Moscow, Russia
Atmospheric thunderstorm clouds are known to have charged subsystems generating sufficiently large electric field (10100) kV/m, which results in electrical potential difference between the lower troposphere and the ionosphere from hundreds MeV up to GeV. Such fields can contribute to generation of intense wind flows, force weak vortex structures to develop into large-scale vortices. Studies show that electromagnetic interactions in the atmosphere can affect the generation of powerful vortex-type tropical cyclones (TC) and vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere. In this regard, for correct description of the role of charged subsystems in the formation and subsequent dynamics of atmospheric vortices, in particular, analysis of the structural characteristics of electric field in a thunderstorm cloud, definition of the parameters of electrical turbulence, their variability in space and time are needed. This paper presents the results of an analysis, based on experimental data, of electrical turbulence structure functions Sm(L) for a variety of vertical profile of electric field (including the case of a strong splash in its amplitude) for a range of heights z < 16 km. The electrical inertial ranges of turbulence are studied and characteristic parameters are obtained in them: the scaling exponent, the value of Hirst index and kurtosis. The analysis has shown that in the inertial ranges, deviations of structure functions (SF) from power scaling are often observed. In the inertial intervals for small and medium-scale turbulence, the generalized scale invariance (GSI) of electrical turbulence can be observed. However, in some cases, GSI is absent, that may be due to turbulence intermittency and presence of electric coherent structures. The results of these studies can be used for future assessment of the role of charged subsystems in the formation of self-according, essentially inhomogeneous structure of wind flows in atmospheric vortices, in simulation of nonlinear dynamics using parameterization schemes that take into account the electrical subsystem of vortices, and to identify possible effects of various factors, for example, variations of cosmic rays on their dynamics. Obviously, it is of interest for monitoring TC including space-based sensing methods, for further development of experimental data processing methods, more complete and correct physical interpretation of processing results, development of new, robust methods to predict natural crisis phenomena and numerical simulation of the dynamics of intensive, large-scale vortices in the atmosphere taking into account helicity and presence of charged subsystems.
Keywords: charged subsystems of atmosphere, thunderstorm clouds, inertial range, turbulence, structure functions, intermittency, scaling, atmospheric vortices
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