Characterize Basin-Scale Subsurface Using Rocket-Triggered Lightning

Yu Li Wang, Tian Chyi Jim Yeh, Fei Liu, Jet Chau Wen, Wenke Wang, Yonghong Hao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This paper exploits triggered lightning as a point source for the basin-scale electromagnetic tomographic survey to image 3-D subsurface electrical properties in basins. This paper further develops a new temporal moment approach, overcoming the difficulties in forward and inverse modeling of 3-D Maxwell’s equations with heterogeneous parameter fields. Using this approach, we find that the influence of a single triggered lightning strike covers a radius of 20–70 km with detectable signals. The cross-correlation analysis between the moment difference of the electric and electric/magnetic property field indicates that the approach is suitable for mapping subsurface electric conductivity ((Formula presented.)) heterogeneity. A numerical experiment with 3-D spatially random parameter fields demonstrates that the method captures the spatial distribution of electric conductivity over large areas with a sparse monitoring network. It reveals the potential of using triggered lightning as a basin-scale electric/magnetic tomography survey.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2022GL101278
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 16 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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