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Impact of total solar eclipse on surface atmospheric electricity

Manohar, GK and Kandalgaonkar, SS and Kulkarni, MK (1995) Impact of total solar eclipse on surface atmospheric electricity. Journal of Geophysical Research, 100. pp. 20805-20814.

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A study of the impact of a total solar eclipse (TSE) on surface atmospheric electricity was made using observations of surface electrical potential gradient, conductivity, and boundary layer parameters recorded during the TSE of February 16, 1980, and on a control day at Raichur. The study showed that with the progressing of the eclipse, as a consequence of inhibited convection, the responses of turbulent mixing in the boundary layer near the ground exhibited diminution and subsequent restoration, respectively. During the next 45 min after the totality, when the surface layer remained stably stratified, the diminution in the potential gradient and the increase in the conductivity was maximum; this was about 60% and 200%, respectively, of their corresponding control day values. This result is in very good agreement with most earlier studies of solar eclipses. The study of the impact of the TSE during 3–4 hours of posteclipse showed significant cooling (∼3°C) of the entire surface air layer and a considerable drop in wind speed over the stretch (1130 km×120 km) of the totality-occupied land region. This significant and systematic phenomenon was responsible for setting up a land-sea breezelike circulation, that is, subsidence/downward air motion over the totality-occupied land region and upward over the noneclipsed land across the totality stretch. This resulted in a considerable aerosol-induced reduction in conductivity and about 5 to 8 times increase in potential gradient during the 3–4 hours of posteclipse. This response of the atmospheric electricity parameters was unlike that observed on the normal days.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Geophysical Union
Subjects: Meteorology and Climatology
Depositing User: IITM Library
Date Deposited: 11 Jun 2016 08:36
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2016 08:36

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