"We present observations of narrowband subionospheric VLF transmitter signals on 20 March 2001, exhibiting coherent fluctuations of over 1 dB peak to peak. Spectral analysis shows that the fluctuations have periods of 1–4 min and are largely coherent. The subionospheric propagation path of the signal from Puerto Rico to Colorado passes over two regions of convective and lightning activity, as observed by GOES satellite imagery and National Lightning Detection Network lightning data. We suggest that these fluctuations are evidence of acoustic waves launched by the convective activity below, observed in the 80–90 km altitude range to which nighttime VLF subionospheric remote sensing is sensitive. These observations show that VLF subionospheric remote sensing may provide a unique, 24 h remote sensing technique for acoustic and gravity wave activity. We reproduce this event in simulations using a fluid model of gravity and acoustic wave propagation to calculate the ionospheric disturbance, followed by an electromagnetic propagation model to calculate the perturbation amplitude at the location of the VLF receiver. Simulation results show that a very large and coherent convective source is required to produce these amplitude perturbations."
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres
American Geophysical Union
Grant or Award Name
NSF CEDAR/GEM Postdoctoral Fellowship AGS-1027070, NSF CEDAR grant AGS-1243176, NSF CAREER grant AGS-1151746
Scholarly Commons Citation
Marshall, R. A., and J. B. Snively (2014), Very low frequency subionospheric remote sensing of thunderstorm-driven acoustic waves in the lower ionosphere, J. Geophys. Res. Atmos., 119, 5037–5045, doi:10.1002/2014JD021594