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eLightning SIGNED

Lightning propagation and high-energy emissions within coupled multi-model simulations

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 eLightning project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the eLightning project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "eLightning" about.

acting    disparity    simulations    theoretical    hypothesis    numerical    model    altitude    emissions    jumps    stepped    interdisciplinary    greatest    energy    surrounds    progress    tackle    flash    jump    plan    mesh    progression    discharges    lighting    series    explanation    250    moving    atmospheric    dynamics    leap    small    motivated    electric    accepted    intertwined    first    bursts    channels    breakthrough    physics    planet    resolving    finite    reveal    scales    length    crucially    sudden    gas    stepping    region    establishing    lightning    spots    understand    elucidate    computational    energetic    despite    building    microscope    succeeded    electrical    filamentary    radiation    coupled    undoubtedly    conductivity    channel    observations    microscopic    geophysics    nature    more    discharge    accurate    question    idea    straddling    repertoire    techniques    emit    electrodynamics    methodological    spectacles    double    succeeds    thunderstorm    bottleneck   

Project "eLightning" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: CALLE SERRANO 117
city: MADRID
postcode: 28006

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙960˙825 €
 EC max contribution 1˙960˙825 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-06-01   to  2021-05-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

More than 250 years after establishing the electrical nature of the lightning flash, we still do not understand how a lightning channel advances. Most of these channels progress not continuously but in a series of sudden jumps and, as they jump, they emit bursts of energetic radiation. Despite increasingly accurate observations, there is no accepted explanation for this stepped progression.

This proposal addresses this open question. First, we propose a methodological breakthrough that will allow us to tackle the main bottleneck in the theoretical understanding of lightning: the wide disparity between length-scales within a lightning flash. We plan to apply techniques that have succeeded in other fields, such as multi-model coupled simulations and moving-mesh finite elements methods. Acting as a computational microscope, these techniques will reveal the small-scale electrodynamics around a lightning channel.

We will then apply these techniques to elucidate the intertwined problems of lightning channel stepping and thunderstorm-related high-energy emissions. The main hypothesis that we will test is that stepping is due to the formation of low-conductivity spots within the filamentary-discharge region that surrounds a lightning channel. This idea is motivated by observations from high-altitude atmospheric discharges. By resolving the small-scale dynamics, with our numerical method, we will also test hypothesis for high-energy emissions from the lighting channel, which crucially depend on the microscopic distribution of electric fields.

This interdisciplinary proposal, straddling between geophysics and gas discharge physics, seeks a double breakthrough: the methodological one of building multi-scale lightning simulations and the hypothesis-driven one of finding out the reason for stepping. If it succeeds, it will achieve a leap forward in our knowledge of lightning, undoubtedly one of the greatest spectacles in our planet's repertoire.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Alejandro Luque
Radio Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation From Streamer Collisions
published pages: 10,497-10,509, ISSN: 2169-897X, DOI: 10.1002/2017JD027157
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 122/19 2019-06-18
2017 A Luque, M González, F J Gordillo-Vázquez
Streamer discharges as advancing imperfect conductors: inhomogeneities in long ionized channels
published pages: 125006, ISSN: 1361-6595, DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/aa987a
Plasma Sources Science and Technology 26/12 2019-05-09
2018 B Bagheri, J Teunissen, U Ebert, M M Becker, S Chen, O Ducasse, O Eichwald, D Loffhagen, A Luque, D Mihailova, J M Plewa, J van Dijk, M Yousfi
Comparison of six simulation codes for positive streamers in air
published pages: 95002, ISSN: 1361-6595, DOI: 10.1088/1361-6595/aad768
Plasma Sources Science and Technology 27/9 2019-05-09
2018 David Sarria, Casper Rutjes, Gabriel Diniz, Alejandro Luque, Kevin M. A. Ihaddadene, Joseph R. Dwyer, Nikolai Østgaard, Alexander B. Skeltved, Ivan S. Ferreira, Ute Ebert
Evaluation of Monte Carlo tools for high-energy atmospheric physics II: relativistic runaway electron avalanches
published pages: 4515-4535, ISSN: 1991-9603, DOI: 10.5194/gmd-11-4515-2018
Geoscientific Model Development 11/11 2019-05-09
2018 F. J. Pérez‐Invernón, A. Luque, F. J. Gordillo‐Vázquez, M. Sato, T. Ushio, T. Adachi, A. B. Chen
Spectroscopic Diagnostic of Halos and Elves Detected From Space‐Based Photometers
published pages: 12,917-12,941, ISSN: 2169-897X, DOI: 10.1029/2018jd029053
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 123/22 2019-05-09
2018 A. Malagón-Romero, A. Luque
A domain-decomposition method to implement electrostatic free boundary conditions in the radial direction for electric discharges
published pages: 114-121, ISSN: 0010-4655, DOI: 10.1016/j.cpc.2018.01.003
Computer Physics Communications 225 2019-05-09
2018 F. J. Gordillo-Vázquez, M. Passas, A. Luque, J. Sánchez, O. A. van der Velde, J. Montanyá
High Spectral Resolution Spectroscopy of Sprites: A Natural Probe of the Mesosphere
published pages: 2336-2346, ISSN: 2169-897X, DOI: 10.1002/2017jd028126
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 123/4 2019-05-09
2017 F. J. Pérez-Invernón, A. Luque, F. J. Gordillo-Vázquez
Three-dimensional modeling of lightning-induced electromagnetic pulses on Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn
published pages: 7636-7653, ISSN: 2169-9380, DOI: 10.1002/2017JA023989
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 122/7 2019-05-09
2017 F. J. Pérez-Invernón, N. G. Lehtinen, F. J. Gordillo-Vázquez, A. Luque
Whistler Wave Propagation Through the Ionosphere of Venus
published pages: 11,633-11,644, ISSN: 2169-9380, DOI: 10.1002/2017JA024504
Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics 122/11 2019-05-09
2016 Casper Rutjes, David Sarria, Alexander Broberg Skeltved, Alejandro Luque, Gabriel Diniz, Nikolai Østgaard, Ute Ebert
Evaluation of Monte Carlo tools for high energy atmospheric physics
published pages: 3961-3974, ISSN: 1991-9603, DOI: 10.5194/gmd-9-3961-2016
Geoscientific Model Development 9/11 2019-05-09

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