ELF electromagnetic waves from lightning: The schumann resonances

Colin Price*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lightning produces electromagnetic fields and waves in all frequency ranges. In the extremely low frequency (ELF) range below 100 Hz, the global Schumann Resonances (SR) are excited at frequencies of 8 Hz, 14 Hz, 20 Hz, etc. This review is aimed at the reader generally unfamiliar with the Schumann Resonances. First some historical context to SR research is given, followed by some theoretical background and examples of the extensive use of Schumann resonances in a variety of lightning-related studies in recent years, ranging from estimates of the spatial and temporal variations in global lighting activity, connections to global climate change, transient luminous events and extraterrestrial lightning. Both theoretical and experimental results of the global resonance phenomenon are presented. It is our hope that this review will increase the interest in SR among researchers previously unfamiliar with this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
Issue number9
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2016


  • ELF
  • Lightning
  • Schumann resonance


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