EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

HO2 enhancements due to sprite discharges - observations and model simulations

Holger Winkler1, Takayoshi Yamada2, Yasuko Kasai2,3, and Justus Notholt1
Holger Winkler et al.
  • 1University of Bremen, Institute of Environmental Physics, Bremen, Germany (
  • 2Terahertz Technology Research Center, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology, Japan
  • 3Department of Environmental Chemistry and Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

We present first observational evidences of an HO2 production in the mesosphere above sprite‐producing thunderstorms derived from low‐noise SMILES (Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder) observation spectra in relation with sprite detections by the ISUAL (Imager of Sprites and Upper Atmospheric Lightning) instrument. Three events were identified with enhanced HO2 levels of approximately 1025 molecules at altitudes of 75-80 km a few hours after sprite occurrence. These first direct observations of chemical sprite effects are compared to results of plasma chemistry model simulations of electrical discharges in the mesosphere, and processes which can lead to an increase of mesospheric HO2 on timescale of a few hours after a sprite event are analysed.

How to cite: Winkler, H., Yamada, T., Kasai, Y., and Notholt, J.: HO2 enhancements due to sprite discharges - observations and model simulations, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8313,, 2020

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