A Comparison of Sprite Locations to Flash Structure

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 5:30 PM
Mark A Stanley1, Thomas Ashcraft2, Paul R Krehbiel1, William Rison1, Harald E Edens1, Steven A Cummer3 and Walter A Lyons4, (1)New Mexico Tech, Langmuir Laboratory, Socorro, NM, United States, (2)Heliotown Observatory, Lamy, NM, United States, (3)Duke University, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, Durham, NC, United States, (4)FMA RESEARCH, INC., Fort Collins, CO, United States
Previous studies have shown that sprites can be horizontally offset by
over 40 km from the parent stroke while VHF lightning maps show that
the center of a sprite cluster generally occurs above recent portions
of the flash. However, a detailed comparison of individual sprite
element locations in relation to flash structure is currently lacking.
In this presentation, I will show the results of such comparisons for
various sprite-producing flashes in a 3 year study period between 2012
and 2014. It will be shown that while there is a general correlation
between the sprites and the active portion of a flash, it is not
uncommon for the individual sprite element plan positions to be
located outside of the flash boundary. The horizontal distance
between such sprite elements and the flash boundary rarely exceeds
much more than 10 km. The implications of these results in regards to
various potential seeding mechanisms for sprites will be discussed.