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In April 2015, Chile’s Calbuco Volcano Erupted.

What happened next was unbelievable, lightning inside the volcano.

Volcanic Lighning in Chile 2015 main photo.jpg

Here's Eruption of the Cordón Caulle volcano in central Chile in 2011.
Cordon Caulle volcano in central Chile in 2011. - 2.jpg
Cordon Caulle volcano in central Chile in 2011. - 3.jpg Cordon Caulle volcano in central Chile in 2011..jpg
 
In normal lightning,  negatively charged particle in the bottom of the clouds attract positively charged particle in the bottom of the earth. Eventually, this electrostatic attraction can overcome the insulating properties of the air, producing a giant electric spark.
That's why normal lightning is towards the earth.  in volcanic lightning, the electric spark is not towards the earth.
 
In volcanic lightning, there is a difference of charges in the top and bottom of ash plume. The rising ash particles are electrified by the magma, causing it to form a dirty thunderstorm.
 
The study in Geophysical Research Letters  also revealed an unexpected correlation between total volume of ash released and the frequency of lightning flashes . We can predict how severe the volcano when it has begun erupting and issue early warnings about air quality following eruptions.
 
Volcanic lightnings could help minimize damage during a earthquake.

About the author
Davneet Singh