Past measurements of the atmospheric vertical electric field (Ez or potential gradient) at numerous land stations showed a strong response of the daily electric field to a morning local effect known as “Austausch” — the transport of electrical charges due to increased turbulence. In mountainous regions, nocturnal charge accumulation, followed by an attachment process to aerosols near the surface in valleys, known as the electrode effect, is lifted as a charged aerosol layer by anabatic (upslope) winds during the morning hours due to solar heating. Ground-based measurements during fair weather days were conducted at three mountain stations in Israel and Armenia. We present results of the mean diurnal variation of Ez and make comparisons with the well-known Carnegie curve and with past measurements of Ez on mountains. We report a good agreement between the mean diurnal curves of Ez at various mountain stations and the time of local sunrise when the Ez is found to increase. We attribute this morning maximum to the Austausch (or exchange) layer effect. We support our findings with conduction and turbulent current measurements showing high values of ions and charged aerosols being transported by winds from morning to noon local time, and by model simulations showing the convergence of winds in the early morning hours toward the mountain peak.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science