Point discharge current measurements beneath dust devils

TitlePoint discharge current measurements beneath dust devils
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLorenz RD, Neakrase LDV, Anderson JP, R. Harrison G, Nicoll KA
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar–Terrestrial Physics
Accession NumberJRN00653
ARIS Log Number335735
Keywordsatmospheric electricity, dust devils, meteorology

We document for the first time observations of point discharge currents under dust devils using a novel compact sensor deployed in summer 2016 at the USDA-ARS Jornada Experimental Range in New Mexico, USA. A consistent signature is noted in about a dozen events seen over 40 days, with a positive current ramping up towards closest approach, switching to a decaying negative current as the devil recedes. The currents, induced on a small wire about 10 cm above the ground, correlate with dust devil intensity (pressure drop) and dust loading, and reached several hundred picoAmps.