Energy spectra of TGE electrons and gamma rays reveal the charge
structure of thunderclouds
In this letter, we present for the first time simultaneously measured
electron and gamma ray spectra of TGE. We also demonstrate how the
measurement of the energy spectra of TGE particles can help to
understand the charge structure of the thundercloud. We introduce two
main scenarios that can support the initiation of the relativistic
runaway avalanches (RREA) in the thundercloud. One of the scenarios
includes the emergence of the lower positive charged layer (LPCR). The
LPCR is a short-living charge structure sitting on hydrometeors, which
exhibit accidental charge reversals depending on temperature changes.
LPCR can sustain a positive (downwards directed) near-surface electric
field for several minutes, before falling down with precipitation.
Comparison of energy spectra of electrons and gamma rays makes it
possible to scrutinize the LPCR emergence and estimate the height where
the strong electric field that originates the RREA declines.