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Report No.

Downward terrestrial gamma-ray flash observed in a winter thunderstorm

Wada, Yuki*; Enoto, Teruaki*; Nakazawa, Kazuhiro*; Furuta, Yoshihiro; Yuasa, Takayuki*; Nakamura, Yoshitaka*; Morimoto, Takeshi*; Matsumoto, Takahiro*; Makishima, Kazuo*; Tsuchiya, Harufumi 

During a winter thunderstorm on 2017 November 24, a strong burst of gamma-rays with energies up to $$sim$$10 MeV was detected coincident with a lightning discharge, by scintillation detectors installed at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Plant at sea level in Japan. The burst had a sub-second duration, which is suggestive of photoneutron productions. The leading part of the burst was resolved into four intense gamma-ray bunches, each coincident with a low-frequency radio pulse. These bunches were separated by 0.7$$-$$1.5 ms, with a duration of $$<$$1 ms each. Thus, the present burst may be considered as a "downward" terrestrial gamma-ray flash (TGF), which is analogous to up-going TGFs observed from space. Although the scintillation detectors were heavily saturated by these bunches, the total dose associated with them was successfully measured by ionization chambers, employed by nine monitoring posts surrounding the power plant. From this information and Monte Carlo simulations, the present downward TGF is suggested to have taken place at an altitude of 2500$$pm$$500 m, involving $$8^{+8}_{-4} times10^{18}$$ avalanche electrons with energies above 1 MeV which is comparable to those in up-going TGFs.



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Category:Physics, Multidisciplinary



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