和田 有希*; 松本 崇弘*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 古田 禄大*; 米徳 大輔*; 澤野 達哉*; 岡田 豪*; 南戸 秀仁*; et al.
Physical Review Research (Internet), 3(4), p.043117_1 - 043117_31, 2021/12
In 2015 the Gamma-Ray Observation of Winter Thunderstorms (GROWTH) collaboration launched a mapping observation campaign for high-energy atmospheric phenomena related to thunderstorms and lightning discharges. This campaign has developed a detection network of gamma rays with up to 10 radiation monitors installed in Kanazawa and Komatsu cities, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, where low-charge-center winter thunderstorms frequently occur. During four winter seasons from October 2016 to April 2020, in total 70 gamma-ray glows, minute-lasting bursts of gamma rays originating from thunderclouds, were detected. Their average duration is 58.9 sec. Among the detected events, 77% were observed in nighttime. The gamma-ray glows can be classified into temporally-symmetric, temporally-asymmetric, and lightning-terminated types based on their count-rate histories. An averaged energy spectrum of the gamma-ray glows is well fitted with a power-law function with an exponential cutoff, whose photon index, cutoff energy, and flux are 0.613 0.009, 4.68 0.04 MeV, and (1.013 0.003) 10 erg cms (0.2-20.0 MeV), respectively. The present paper provides the first catalog of gamma-ray glows and their statistical analysis detected during winter thunderstorms in the Kanazawa and Komatsu areas.
久富 章平*; 中澤 知洋*; 和田 有希*; 辻 結菜*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 篠田 太郎*; 森本 健志*; 中村 佳敬*; 湯浅 孝行*; 土屋 晴文
Journal of Geophysical Research; Atmospheres, 126(18), p.e2021JD034543_1 - e2021JD034543_12, 2021/09
Around 17:00 on January 12, 2020 (UTC), radiation detectors installed at two locations with a 1.35 km separation in Kanazawa City, Japan, captured a total of four gamma-ray enhancements. The first pair was simultaneously observed at the two locations at 17:03 and were abruptly terminated by a lightning discharge. The remaining two enhancements were also nearly simultaneously observed 3 min later, and one of them was also terminated by another lightning discharge. At the last termination, a downward terrestrial gamma-ray flash and a negative energetic in-cloud pulse were observed. Both pairs were associated with thundercloud cells. In the first pair, simultaneous detection in two locations 1.35 km apart suggests either a gamma-ray glow emerged in-between and time variability of its intensity were directly observed or there were two (or more) gamma-ray glows in the cell which reached the two detectors coincidentally. In the latter pair, the peak time in the downwind detector was 40 s later than that of the upwind detector. If the irradiation region moved with the cell, it would have taken 110 s. The discrepancy suggests either the glow moved 2.5 times faster than the cell or there were two (or more) glows in the cell. Also, the fact that the thunderstorm cell hosting the latter glows experienced the lightning discharge 3 min before suggests that the strong electric field in the cell can develop within a few minutes.
土屋 晴文; 榎戸 輝揚*; 和田 有希*; 古田 禄大; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 楳本 大悟*; 牧島 一夫*; GROWTH collaboration*
Proceedings of Science (Internet), 358, p.1163_1 - 1163_6, 2021/07
Since 2006, the GROWTH experiment has been successfully operating at the coastal area of Japan Sea. The GROWTH experiment aims at elucidating how particles in lightning and thunderclouds are accelerated to relativistic energies to produce gamma rays and occasionally neutrons. According to observations done by the GROWTH experiment, it is found that there are two types of radiation bursts associated with winter thunderstorms. One is long bursts lasting for a few tens of seconds to a few minutes, being not clearly related to lightning. The other is short bursts in association with lightning. To better understand the production mechanism of these radiation bursts, we have developed a small-type of radiation detectors and increased observational points with the new detectors. In this presentation, we show an overview of observations done by the GROWTH experiment. Then we focus on recent several findings observed by the new detectors. One, which is categorized into long bursts, implies a relationship between a long burst and an intra/inter-cloud discharge. Another is a combination of short bursts and long ones, showing simultaneous detections of prompt gamma rays extending up to 10 MeV and the 511-keV annihilation ones. These gamma-ray signals demonstrate the occurrence of photonuclear reactions in lightning. Based on these results, we discuss the production mechanism of gamma rays related to thunderstorms.
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 久保 守*; 中澤 知洋*; 篠田 太郎*; 米徳 大輔*; 澤野 達哉*; 湯浅 孝行*; 牛尾 知雄*; 佐藤 陽祐*; et al.
Geophysical Research Letters, 48(7), 11 Pages, 2021/04
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中澤 知洋*; 小高 裕和*; 古田 禄大; 土屋 晴文
Journal of Geophysical Research; Atmospheres, 125(20), 17 Pages, 2020/10
We report simulation results of photonuclear reactions in the atmosphere triggered by a downward terrestrial gamma-ray flash in lightning. Possible channels of reactions in the atmosphere and their cross sections are verified with the ENDF/B-VII.1 library. Monte-Carlo simulations with two stages are then performed with the Geant4 framework. In the first stage, electrons following the relativistic runaway electron avalanche spectrum are produced in a mass model of the atmosphere, and production of photoneutrons and -decay nuclei is calculated based on the nuclear data library. In total 1 neutrons and 4 -decay nuclei are produced by energetic electrons above 1 MeV. In the second stage, propagation of the photoneutrons and positrons from the -decay nuclei in the previous stage is calculated. As a result, we model on-ground distributions of fluxes and energy spectra for neutrons, neutron-related gamma rays, and annihilation ones. The simulation model is to be compared with photonuclear events detected in low-charge-center winter thunderstorms.
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 古田 禄大; 小高 裕和*; 牧島 一夫*; 土屋 晴文
Journal of Geophysical Research; Atmospheres, 125(20), p.e2020JD033194_1 - e2020JD033194_15, 2020/10
During a winter thunderstorm on 6th February 2017 in Japan, photonuclear reactions such as N()N were triggered by a downward terrestrial gamma-ray flash (TGF), as reported by Enoto et al. (2017). In the present paper, we compare the observation with a simulation model of downward TGFs and subsequent photonuclear reactions constructed by the first paper of the series and Wada, Enoto, Nakazawa, et al. (2019). The observation and model consist of three components: annihilation gamma rays from positrons produced by -decay nuclei, de-excitation gamma rays originating from neutron captures, and radiation doses by TGF photons. Each component of the observation is reproduced by the simulation model, and we constrain a relation between the number of avalanche electrons and their production altitude of the downward TGF. The constrains by three components match within an order of magnitude. The downward TGF is estimated to comprise 10 avalanche electrons above 1 MeV produced at an altitude of 1.4-2.7 km. Despite differences in altitude, direction, and season, downward TGFs in winter thunderstorms are thought to have the same mechanism of electron acceleration and multiplication in lightning as TGFs observed by in-orbit satellites.
湯浅 孝行*; 和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 古田 禄大; 土屋 晴文; 久富 章平*; 辻 結菜*; 奥田 和史*; 松元 崇弘*; 中澤 知洋*; et al.
Progress of Theoretical and Experimental Physics (Internet), 2020(10), p.103H01_1 - 103H01_27, 2020/10
We designed, developed, and deployed a distributed sensor network aiming at observing high-energy ionizing radiation, primarily gamma rays, from winter thunderclouds and lightning in coastal areas of Japan. Starting in 2015, we have installed, in total, more than 15 units of ground-based detector system in Ishikawa Prefecture and Niigata Prefecture, and accumulated 551 days of observation time in four winter seasons from late 2015 to early 2019. In this period, our system recorded 51 gamma-ray radiation events from thundercloud and lightning. Highlights of science results obtained from this unprecedented amount of data include the discovery of photonuclear reaction in lightning which produces neutrons and positrons along with gamma rays, and deeper insights into the life cycle of a particle-acceleration and gamma-ray-emitting region in a thunder-cloud. The present paper reviews objective, methodology, and results of our experiment, with a stress on its instrumentation.
和田 有希*; 中澤 知洋*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 古田 禄大; 湯浅 孝行*; 牧島 一夫*; 土屋 晴文
Physical Review D, 101(10), p.102007_1 - 102007_6, 2020/05
During a winter thunderstorm on November 24, 2017, a downward terrestrial gamma-ray flash took place and triggered photonuclear reactions with atmospheric nitrogen and oxygen nuclei, coincident with a lightning discharge at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power station in Japan. We directly detected neutrons produced by the photonuclear reactions with gadolinium orthosilicate scintillation crystals installed at sea level. Two gadolinium isotopes included in the scintillation crystals, Gd and Gd, have large cross sections of neutron captures to thermal neutrons such as Gd(n,)Gd and Gd(n,)Gd. De-excitation gamma rays from Gd and Gd are self-absorbed in the scintillation crystals, and make spectral-line features which can be distinguished from other non-neutron signals. The neutron burst lasted for 100 ms, and neutron fluences are estimated to be 58 and 31 neutrons cm at two observation points at the power plant. Gadolinium orthosilicate scintillators work as valid detectors for thermal neutrons in lightning.
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中村 佳敬*; 森本 健志*; 佐藤 光輝*; 牛尾 知雄*; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 米徳 大輔*; 澤野 達也*; et al.
Journal of Geophysical Research; Atmospheres, 125(4), p.e2019JD031730_1 - e2019JD031730_11, 2020/02
During 2017-2018 winter operation of the Gamma-Ray Observation of Winter Thunderclouds experiment in Japan, two downward terrestrial gamma-ray flashes (TGFs) that triggered atmospheric photonuclear reactions were detected. They took place during winter thunderstorms on 5 December 2017 and 9 January 2018 at Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. Each event coincided with an intracloud/intercloud discharge, which had a negative-polarity peak current higher than 150 kA. Their radio waveforms in the low-frequency band are categorized as a distinct lightning type called energetic in-cloud pulse (EIP). Negative-polarity EIPs have been previously suggested to be highly associated with downward TGFs, and the present observations provide evidence of the correlation between them for the first time. Furthermore, both of the downward TGFs followed gamma-ray glows, minute-lasting high-energy emissions from thunderclouds. It is suggested that the negative EIPs took place with downward propagating negative leaders or upward positive ones developed in highly electrified regions responsible for the gamma-ray glows.
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中澤 知洋*; 古田 禄大; 湯浅 孝行*; 中村 佳敬*; 森本 健志*; 松元 崇弘*; 牧島 一夫*; 土屋 晴文
Physical Review Letters, 123(6), p.061103_1 - 061103_6, 2019/08
During a winter thunderstorm on 2017 November 24, a strong burst of gamma-rays with energies up to 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 0.71.5 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 2500500 m, involving avalanche electrons with energies above 1 MeV which is comparable to those in up-going TGFs.
和田 有希*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 中村 佳敬*; 古田 禄大; 湯浅 孝行*; 中澤 知洋*; 森本 健志*; 佐藤 光輝*; 松元 崇弘*; 米徳 大輔*; et al.
Communications Physics (Internet), 2(1), p.67_1 - 67_9, 2019/06
Two types of high-energy events have been detected from thunderstorms. One is "terrestrial gamma-ray flashes" (TGFs), sub-millisecond emissions coinciding with lightning discharges. The other is minute-lasting "gamma-ray glows". Although both phenomena are thought to originate from relativistic runaway electron avalanches in strong electric fields, the connection between them is not well understood. Here we report unequivocal simultaneous detection of a gamma-ray glow termination and a downward TGF, observed from the ground. During a winter thunderstorm in Japan on 9 January 2018, our detectors caught a gamma-ray glow, which moved for 100 s with ambient wind, and then abruptly ceased with a lightning discharge. Simultaneously, the detectors observed photonuclear reactions triggered by a downward TGF, whose radio pulse was located within 1 km from where the glow ceased. It is suggested that the highly-electrified region producing the glow was related to the initiation of the downward TGF.
榎戸 輝揚*; 和田 有希*; 土屋 晴文
日本物理学会誌, 74(4), p.192 - 200, 2019/04
和田 有希*; Bowers, G. S.*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 鴨川 仁*; 中村 佳敬*; 森本 健志*; Smith, D.*; 古田 禄大*; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; et al.
Geophysical Research Letters, 45(11), p.5700 - 5707, 2018/06
An on-ground observation program for high energy atmospheric phenomena in winter thunderstorms along Japan Sea has been performed via lightning measurements of -ray radiation, atmospheric electric field and low-frequency radio band. On February 11, 2017, the radiation detectors recorded -ray emission lasting for 75 sec. The -ray spectrum extended up to 20 MeV and was reproduced by a cutoff power-law model with a photon index of 1.36, being consistent with a Bremsstrahlung radiation from a thundercloud (as known as a -ray glow). Then the -ray glow was abruptly terminated with a nearby lightning discharge. The low-frequency radio monitors, installed 50 km away from Noto School, recorded intra/inter-cloud discharges spreading over 60km area with a 300 ms duration. The timing of the -ray termination coincided with the moment when a sequence of intra/inter-cloud discharges passed 0.7 km horizontally away from the radiation monitors. The atmospheric electric-field measurement presented that negative charge was located in the cloud base and not neutralized by the lightning discharge. This indicates that the -ray source was located at an higher region than the cloud base.
榎戸 輝揚*; 和田 有希*; 古田 禄大*; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 奥田 和史*; 牧島 一夫*; 佐藤 光輝*; 佐藤 陽祐*; 中野 俊男*; et al.
Nature, 551(7681), p.481 - 484, 2017/11
Relativistic electrons accelerated by electric fields of lightnings and thunderclouds emit bremsstrahlung rays, which have been detected at ground observations. The energy of the rays is sufficiently high to potentially invoke atmospheric photonuclear reactions N(, n)N, which would produce neutrons and eventually positrons via decay of generated unstable radioactive isotopes, especially N. However, no clear observational evidence for the reaction has been reported to date. Here we report the first detection of neutron and positron signals from lightning with a ground observation. During a thunderstorm on 6 February 2017 in Japan, an intense -ray flash (1 ms) was detected at our monitoring sites. The subsequent initial burst quickly subsided with an exponential decay constant of 40-60 ms, followed by a prolonged line emission at 0.511MeV, lasting for a minute. The observed decay timescale and spectral cutoff at 10 MeV of the initial emission are well explained with de-excitation rays from the nuclei excited by neutron capture. The centre energy of the prolonged line emission corresponds to the electron-positron annihilation, and hence is the conclusive indication of positrons produced after the lightning. Our detection of neutrons and positrons is unequivocal evidence that natural lightning triggers photonuclear reactions.
土屋 晴文*; 榎戸 輝揚*; 鳥居 建男; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 鳥井 俊輔*; 福山 太郎*; 山口 貴弘*; 加藤 博*; 岡野 眞治*; et al.
Physical Review Letters, 102(25), p.255003_1 - 255003_4, 2009/06
土屋 晴文; 榎戸 輝揚*; 和田 有希*; 古田 禄大*; 中澤 知洋*; 湯浅 孝行*; 奥田 和史*; 牧島 一夫*; 佐藤 光輝*; 佐藤 陽祐*; et al.
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