The amplitudes of lightning sferics are commonly used for data analyses, for example, in lightning location networks. This contribution investigates the coherency of lightning sferics, which is calculated from the phase of the analytic complex signal. The complex signal is obtained from the Hilbert transform with the recorded signal as the input signal. This analytic signal is composed of amplitudes with corresponding phases. Rigorous selection criteria are applied to ensure that consistent events are used to calculate distance-dependent average sferics waveforms which are summarized in waveform banks for the amplitude and coherency. The impulse response to lightning flashes is derived from an averaged waveform which is used to detect individual lightning events. It is shown that the coherency waveform bank is in general agreement with the amplitude waveform bank, that is, the relative arrival times of the ground and sky waves. The coherency waveform bank exhibits the same number of skywaves on the logarithmic scale, but a less attenuated ground wave when compared to the amplitude waveform bank. The results of this study show that the phase of sferics offers additional information to amplitudes, which could potentially be used for the interferometric lightning location with long-range lightning detection networks.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2021RS007347
JournalRadio Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2022


  • atmospheric and space electricity
  • electromagnetic noise
  • lightning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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