EGU General Assembly 2022
© Author(s) 2022. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Observations by ASIM of Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes accompanied by Elves

Ingrid Bjørge-Engeland1, Nikolai Østgaard1, Andrey Mezentsev1, Chris A. Skeie1, David Sarria1, Jeff Lapierre2, Anders Lindanger1, Torsten Neubert3, Martino Marisaldi1,4, Nikolai Lehtinen1, Olivier Chanrion3, Kjetil Ullaland1, Shiming Yang1, Georgi Genov1, Freddy Christiansen3, and Victor Reglero5
Ingrid Bjørge-Engeland et al.
  • 1University of Bergen, Birkeland Centre for Space Science, Department of Physics and Technology, Norway (
  • 2Earth Networks, Germantown, MD, USA
  • 3National Space Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
  • 4INAF-OAS Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • 5University of Valencia, Spain

Terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) are short and highly energetic bursts of photons, produced in association with lightning in thunderstorms. Elves are rapidly expanding rings of optical emissions, with radii of several hundred kilometers, produced when electromagnetic pulses from lightning hit the base of the ionosphere. The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor (ASIM) detects both TGFs and Elves, sometimes simultaneously. Here, we present a study of observations where TGFs are accompanied by Elves. The optical signatures from Elves are identified from measurements by the ASIM UV photometer. Using ground-based lightning location networks, we find associated sferic detections to these events, placing them mainly over oceans and in coastal regions. Using sferic detections by GLD360, we compare the peak currents of the lightning associated with the TGF-Elve pairs to peak currents associated with other TGFs detected by ASIM, as well as with lightning in general. We show that the TGFs accompanied by Elves are among the shorter TGFs detected by ASIM, and they are associated with very high peak currents of typically several hundred kA.

How to cite: Bjørge-Engeland, I., Østgaard, N., Mezentsev, A., Skeie, C. A., Sarria, D., Lapierre, J., Lindanger, A., Neubert, T., Marisaldi, M., Lehtinen, N., Chanrion, O., Ullaland, K., Yang, S., Genov, G., Christiansen, F., and Reglero, V.: Observations by ASIM of Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes accompanied by Elves, EGU General Assembly 2022, Vienna, Austria, 23–27 May 2022, EGU22-9085,, 2022.

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