Robert H. Holzworth

Professor of Earth & Space Science and

Adjunct Professor of Physics

University of Washington
Earth and Space Sciences

Room 263 Johnson Hall

BOX 351310

Seattle, WA 98195-1310
(206) 685-7410 (office)
(206) 685-3815 (fax)  

Pictures from the MASS rocket campaign, Andenes, Norway, July/August 2007


ESS595 Autumn 2016 Seminar and Journal Club Schedule

main WWLLN webpage

Ph.D., Physics, University of California, Berkeley, 1977.
Asst. Res. Physicist, Space Science Lab, UC Berkeley, 1977 - 8.
Member of the Technical Staff, Space Science Lab, The Aerospace Corp., Los Angeles, 1978-82
UW Faculty since 1982

Experimental space plasma physics, atmospheric and magnetospheric electrodynamics, middle atmosphere electrodynamics, thunderstorm and lightning electrodynamics.

My research involves the experimental investigation of electrical parameters in the Earth's environment, in particular, the study of the electromagnetic energy flow that couples separated environments such as the atmosphere, the ionosphere, and the magnetosphere. Active projects include: CAREII dusty-plasma rocket experiment Electric field measurements in F-region ionosphere to be launched from Norway in 2013 (NRL support);   C/NOFS Optical Lightning Detector in the VEFI electric field experiment launched Apr 2008 into equatorial orbit to study ionospheric irregularities (NASA and USAF sponsored), and real time global lightning studies using VLF techniques with the WWLL (World Wide Lightning Location network) (see for more information) and experiments to use lightning as a powerful radar to probe the D-region.  Additionally, proposals in the works for new balloon flights. 

Students are encouraged to be vitally involved in hardware projects and data analysis in all of these research areas. All instruments are built in our lab by the students or the professional engineering staff. Most projects include the opportunity for student travel.

Email Bob at .

PUBLICATIONS since 2004 (from a total list of over 120)

WWLL global lightning detection system: Regional validation study in Brazil, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 31, L03102, doi:10.1029/2003GL018882, 2004 (with Erin H. Lay, Craig J. Rodger, Jeremy N. Thomas, Osmar Pinto Jr., and Richard L. Dowden)

A New High-Voltage Electric Field Instrument for Studying Sprites, IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON GEOSCIENCE AND REMOTE SENSING (IEEE), 0196-2892/04$20.00 © 2004 (with Jeremy N. Thomas and John Chin

Electric field measurements in noctilucent clouds, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 109, D16203, doi:10.1029/2003JD004468, 2004, (with R. L. Goldberg)

C/NOFS: a Mission to Forecast Scintillations, JASTP, (accepted and in press, 2004 (with O. de La Beaujardire and the rest of the C/NOFS science definition team)

Potential distribution around sounding rockets in mesospheric layers with charged aerosol particles, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, accepted, Oct. 2004, (In press) (with Z. Sternovsky, M. Horányi and S. Robertson)

Balloon Observations of Temporal and Spatial Fluctuations in Stratospheric Conductivity, Submitted to Elsevier Science, October, 2004, (with Edgar A. Bering, III, Brandon D. Reddell , Michael F. Kokorowski , Akira Kadokura , Hisao Yamagishi , Natsuo Sato, Masaki Ejiri, Haruto Hirosawa, Takamasa Yamagami, Shoji Torii, Fumio Tohyamaf, Michio Nakagawa, and Toshimi Okada

Strong electric fields from positive lightning strokes in the stratosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., V. 32, L04809, doi:10.1029/2004GL021554, 2005 (with  M. P. McCarthy, J. N. Thomas, J. Chin, T. M. Chinowsky, M. J. Taylor, and O. Pinto Jr.,)

Latitude gradients in the natural variance in stratospheric conductivity - Implications for studies of long-term changes Source: Advances in Space Research, v 35, n 8 SPEC. ISS., 2005, p 1385-1397 (with Bering III, E.A.,Benbrook, J.R.; Byrne, G.J.; Gupta, S.P.)

.Lightning sferics and stroke-delayed pulses measured in the stratosphere: Implications for mesospheric currents, Geophysical Res. Lett, VOL. 32, L22807, doi:10.1029/2005GL024629, 2005 (with Thomas, Jeremy N, Michael P. McCarthy, and Osmar Pinto Jr)

Balloon observations of temporal variation in the global circuit compared to global lightning activity, Advances in Space Research 36 (2005) 2223–2228

Predicting lightning-driven quasi-electrostatic fields at sprite altitudes usin in situ measurements and a numerical model, Geophysical Research Letters, v 32, n 10, 28 May 2005. (with Thomas, J.N.; McCarthy, M.P.; Pinto, O., Jr)

Balloon observations of temporal and spatial fluctuations in stratospheric conductivity, Advances in Space Research, v 35, n 8, 2005, p 1434-49 (with Bering, E.A., III,   Reddell, B.D. ;  Kokorowski, M.F.; Kadokura, A.; Yamagishi, H.; Sato, N.; Ejiri, M.; Hirosawa, H.; Yamagami, T.; Torii, S.; Tohyama, F.; Nakagawa, M.; Okada, T.,)

Rapid fluctuations of stratospheric electric field following a solar energetic particle event, Geophysical Research Letters, v 33, n 20, 28 Oct. 2006, p 6 pp (with Kokorowski, M., Sample, J.G.., Bering, E.A.; Bale, S.D.; Blake, J.B.; Collier, A.B.; Hughes, A.R.W.; Lay, E.; Lin, R.P.; McCarthy, M.P.; Millan, R.M.; Moraal, H.; O'Brien, T.P.; Parks, G.K.; Pulupa, M.; Reddell, B.D.; Smith, D.M.; Stoker, P.H.; Woodger, L.)

Detection efficiency of the VLF World-Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN): initial case study, Ann. Geophys., 24, 3197–3214, 2006 (with Rodger,  C. J., S. Werner, J. B. Brundell, E. H. Lay, N. R. Thomson,  and R. L. Dowden)

Performance assessment of the World Wide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN), using the Los Alamos Sferic Array (LASA) as ground truth Source: Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, v 23, n 8, Aug. 2006, p 1082-92 (with Jacobson, A.R., Harlin, J.; Dowden, R.; Lay, E.)

A Very Active Sprite-Producing Storm Observed Over Argentina, Eos, Vol. 88, No. 10, 6 March 2007, PAGES 117–128 (My post doc) (with Thomas, Jeremy N; Michael J. Taylor, Dominique Pautet, and Matthew Bailey,; Natalia N. Solorzano,, Michael P. McCarthy, Michael Kokorowski, Fernanda Sao Sabbas, Osmar Pinto Jr; Steven A. Cummer, Nicolas Jaugey, and Jingbo Li, Nelson Jorge Schuch)

Local Time Variation in Land/Ocean Lightning Count Rates as Measured by the World Wide Lightning Location Network, Journal of Geophysical Research-Part D-Atmospheres, v 112, n 13, 16 July 2007, p D13111-1-9  (with Lay, Erin, H., Abram R. Jacobson, Craig J. Rodger,  and Richard L. Dowden)

Low-frequency ionospheric sounding with Narrow Bipolar Event lightning radio emissions: energy-reflectivity spectrum, Ann. Geophys., 26, 1793-1803, 2008 (with Jacobson A. R.  and X.-M. Shao)

Rare Measurements of a Sprite with Halo Event Driven by a Negative Lightning Discharge Over Argentina, Geophys. Res. Lett., VOL.35, L14812, doi:10.1029/2008GL033984, 2008 (with Taylor, M. J., M. A. Bailey, P. D. Pautet, S. A. Cummer, N. Jaugey, J. N. Thomas, N. N. Solorzano, F. S. Sabbas, O. Pinto, and N. J. Schuch )

Magnetospheric electric field variations caused by storm-time shock fronts, Advances in Space Research, v 42, n 1, 1 July 2008, p 181-91 (with Kokorowski, M., Bering, E.A., III; Ruohoniemi, M.; Sample, J.G..; Bale, S.D.; Blake, J.B.; Collier, A.B.; Hughes, A.R.W.; Lay, E.H.; Lin, R.P.; McCarthy, M.P.; Millan, R.M.; Moraal, H.; O'Brien, T.P.; Parks, G.K.; Pulupa, M.; Reddell, B.D.; Smith, D.M.; Stoker, P.H.; Woodger,)

In situ measurements of contributions to the global electrical circuit by a thunderstorm in southeastern Brazil, Atmospheric ResearchIn Press, Accepted ManuscriptAvailable online 16 September 2008 (with Thomas, Jeremy N.and, Michael P. McCarthy)

Lightning-driven electric fields measured in the lower ionosphere: Implications for transient luminous events, J. Geophys. Res. (Space Physics) Accepted and in press, (2008JA013567R), 2008 (with Thomas, J. N., B. H. Barnum, E. H. Lay, M. Co and M. C. Kelley)

Full-wave reflection of lightning long-wave radio pulses from the ionospheric D region: Numerical model with Abram R. Jacobson, and Xuan-Min Shao, , JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 114, A03303, doi:10.1029/2008JA013642, 2009

Electric field measurements in a NLC/PMSE region during the MASS/ECOMA campaign, with M. Shimogawa, Ann. Geophys., 27, 1423–1430, 2009

Mass analysis of charged aerosol particles in NLC and PMSE during the ECOMA/MASS campaign, with Robertson, S., M. Horanyi, S. Knappmiller, Z. Sternovsky, M. Shimogawa, M. Friedrich, K. Torkar, J. Gumbel, L. Megner, G. Baumgarten, R. Latteck, M. Rapp, U.-P. Hoppe, and M. E. Hervig, Ann. Geophys., 27, 1213–1232, 2009

Simultaneous observations of Pc 1 micropulsation activity and stratospheric electrodynamic perturbations on 27 January 2003, with Bering, E.;  Engebretson, M. ; Holzworth, R.; Kadokura, A.; Kokorowski, M.; Reddell, B.; Posch, J.; Yamagishi, H., , Advances in Space Research, v 43, n 5, p 802-818, March 2, 2009

Spectral dependence of terrestrial gamma-ray flashes on source distance, with Hazelton B. J., B. W. Grefenstette, D. M. Smith, J. R. Dwyer, X.-M. Shao, S. A. Cummer, T. Chronis, and E. H. Lay, (2009), , Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L01108, doi:10.1029/2008GL035906.

Characteristics, of an African Easterly Wave Observed During NAMMA, with Cifelli,  Robert, Timothy Lang, Steven A. Rutledge, Nick Guy, Edward J. Zipser, and Jon Zawislak, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, Vol. 67, No. 1, pp. 3-25, January 2010.

Polarity and energetics of inner core lightning in three intense North Atlantic hurricanes, with Jeremy N. Thomas, Natalia N. Solorzano, and Steven A. Cummer,  J. Geophys. Res., VOL. 115, doi:10.1029/2009JA014777, 2010

Growing detection efficiency of the world wide lightning location network, with Rodger, C.J., Brundell, J.B.;and  Lay, E.H, , AIP Conference Proceedings (refereed), v 1118, p 15-20, 2009.

Full-wave reflection of lightning long-wave radio pulses  from the ionospheric D-region: Comparison with midday observations of broadband lightning signals, with Abram R. Jacobson and Xuan-Min Shao,, , J. Geophys. Res., 2009JA014540RR, (Accepted and in press), 2010

Ground-based detection of sprites and their parent lightning flashes over Africa during the 2006 AMMA campaign, with E. R. Williams, W. A. Lyons, Y. Hobara, V. C. Mushtak, N. Asencio, R. Boldi, J. Bór, S. A. Cummer, E. Greenberg, M. Hayakawa, V. Kotroni, J. Li, C. Morales, T. E. Nelson, C. Price, B. Russell, M. Sato, G. Sátori, K. Shirahata, Y. Takahashi, K. Yamashita, , Q. J. R. Meteorol. Soc. (2009), DOI: 10.1002/qj.489

First Results on Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes from 1the Fermi Gamma-ray Burst Monitor,  withBriggs, M. S., G. J. Fishman, V. Connaughton, P. N. Bhat, W. S. Paciesas, R. D. Preece, C. WilsonHodge, V. L. Chaplin, R. M. Kippen, A. von Kienlin, C. A. Meegan, E. BissaldJ. R. Dwyer, D. M. Smith, J. E. Grove, and A. Chekhtman, , . Geophys. Res., VOL. 115, A07323, doi:10.1029/2009JA015242, 2010

Lightning-generated NOx seen by OMI during NASA’s TC4 experiment with Bucsela, E. J., K. E. Pickering, T. L. Huntemann, R. C. Cohen, A. Perring, J. F. Gleason, R. J. Blakeslee, R. I. Albrecht, J. P. Cipriani, D. Vargas-Navarro, I. Mora-Segura, A. Pacheco-Hernández, and S. Laporte-Molina, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos. 115 , Art. No. D00J10, issn: 0148-0227, ids: 636GB, doi: 10.1029/2009JD013118, Published 5-Aug 2010.

Associations between Fermi Gammaray Burst Monitor terrestrial gamma ray flashes and sferics from the World Wide Lightning Location Network with Connaughton, V., M. S. Briggs, M. L. Hutchins, G. J. Fishman, C. A. WilsonHodge, V. L. Chaplin, P. N. Bhat,  J. Greiner, A. von Kienlin, R. M. Kippen, C. A. Meegan, W. S. Paciesas, R. D. Preece, E. Cramer, J. R. Dwyer, and D. M. Smith, , J. Geophys. Res, V. 115, A12307, doi:10.1029/2010JA015681, 2010.

A performance assessment of theWorldWide Lightning Location Network (WWLLN) via comparison with the Canadian Lightning Detection Network (CLDN) with Abreu, D., D. Chandan, and K. Strong, , Atmos. Meas. Tech., 3, 1143–1153, 2010

Temporal-spatial modeling of non-linear electron density enhancement due to successive lightning strokes with Lay, Erin H. , Craig J. Rodger, Mengu Cho, and Jeremy N. Thomas, JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, A00E59, 8 PP., doi:10.1029/2009JA014756, 2010

Lightning-Generated  Whistler Waves Observed by Probes on the C/NOFS Satellite at Low Latitudes, with M. P. McCarthy, R. F. Pfaff, A. R. Jacobson, W. L.Willcockson and D. E. Rowland, J. Geo. Res., 116, A06306, doi:10.1029/ 2010JA016198, 2011

Study of oblique whistlers in the low-latitude ionosphere, jointly with the C/NOFS satellite and theWorld-Wide Lightning Location Network with Jacobson, A. R., R. F. Pfaff, and M. P. McCarthy, , Ann. Geophys., 29, 851–863, doi:10.5194/angeo-29-851-2011, 2011

Daily and intraseasonal relationships between lightning and NO2 over the Maritime Continent, with Katrina S Virts, Joel A. Thornton, John M. Wallace, Michael L. Hutchins, and Abram R. Jacobson, Geophys. Res. Lett., V. 38, L19803, doi:10.1029/2011GL048578, 2011

Observations of multi-microsecond VHF pulsetrains in intracloud lightning discharges, with, A. R Jacobson. and X.-M. Shao, ,  Ann. Geophys., 29, 1587–1604, 2011.

Initial studies with the Lightning Detector on the C/NOFS satellite, and cross-validation with WWLLN, with A. R. Jacobson, M. P. McCarthy, and R. P.Pfaff,  Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology (JTech) DOI: 10.1175/JTECH-D-11-00047.1, V. 28, p. 1423, 2011

(updated Nov 2011)

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