Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-2023-15
https://doi.org/10.5194/hgss-2023-15
06 Dec 2023
 | 06 Dec 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal HGSS and is expected to appear here in due course.

Atmospheric electricity observations at Eskdalemuir Geophysical Observatory

R. Giles Harrison and John Carter Riddick

Abstract. Atmospheric electricity measurements, principally of the hourly Potential Gradient (PG), were made continuously at Eskdalemuir Observatory, Scotland, (55.314° N, 356.794° E) between 1911 and 1981. Air ion properties were also determined. The sensing apparatus for PG measurement at Eskdalemuir initially used a Kelvin water dropper potential equaliser (1911–1936), followed by a radioactive probe from 1936 and, from 1965, a horizontal stretched wire sensor at 0.5 m, all attached to recording devices. Monthly mean PG data from these instruments is now available digitally. Originally, the data was classified into undisturbed and disturbed days, using the chart record (electrogram). This approach has limitations at Eskdalemuir due to mist, fog and calm conditions, which can influence the mean PG despite the day appearing undisturbed on the electrogram. Nevertheless, a correlation with Pacific Ocean temperature fluctuations is apparent in the Eskdalemuir PG data between 1911 and 1950. As at Lerwick, there was an abrupt decrease in the PG caused by nuclear weapon detonations in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The 1950s PG decrease began at Eskdalemuir before that at Lerwick, for which possible additional local factors are evaluated.

R. Giles Harrison and John Carter Riddick

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hgss-2023-15', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Dec 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply to RC1 comments', R.Giles Harrison, 08 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on hgss-2023-15', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', R.Giles Harrison, 05 Feb 2024
  • EC1: 'Comment on hgss-2023-15', Kristian Schlegel, 06 Feb 2024

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hgss-2023-15', Anonymous Referee #1, 19 Dec 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply to RC1 comments', R.Giles Harrison, 08 Jan 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on hgss-2023-15', Anonymous Referee #2, 02 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', R.Giles Harrison, 05 Feb 2024
  • EC1: 'Comment on hgss-2023-15', Kristian Schlegel, 06 Feb 2024
R. Giles Harrison and John Carter Riddick
R. Giles Harrison and John Carter Riddick

Viewed

Total article views: 399 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
333 48 18 399 7 8
  • HTML: 333
  • PDF: 48
  • XML: 18
  • Total: 399
  • BibTeX: 7
  • EndNote: 8
Views and downloads (calculated since 06 Dec 2023)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 06 Dec 2023)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 383 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 383 with geography defined and 0 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 
Latest update: 26 Feb 2024
Download
Short summary
Eskdalemuir Observatory opened in 1908, sited remotely for magnetically quiet conditions. Continuous atmospheric potential gradient (PG) recordings began there in 1911, using a Kelvin water dropper electrograph. Notable scientists who worked with atmospheric electricity at Eskdalemuir include Lewis Fry Richardson and Gordon Dobson. The PG measurements continued until 1981. The methodologies employed are described to help interpret the monthly data now digitally available.