Dramatic Update from Taal Volcano – Lightning in Ash Clouds
Why are there Lightnings?
It is a similar mechanism as in a thunder storm. Particles move up by thermic energy and particles fall down because of gravitation. The only difference is the kind of particles. In a volcano explosion it is ash, in a thunder storm it is hail.
Raising and falling particles collide midair and rub on each other. Rubbing tears out electrons from one of the particles. the donor becomes positively charged, the receiver gets negatively charged. With the billions of particles, the voltage between the differently charged clouds becomes extremely high. Think of millions ore even billions of Volts. Ta a given moment the tension is so high that it discharges in a lightning.
The initial cause of a lightning strike is a separation of charge within a cloud. Positively charged particles accumulate at the top of the cloud while negatively charged particles concentrate themselves at the bottom of the cloud. Unfortunately, it is currently unknown why this charge separation occurs.
If you want to know more about Taal Volcano… Taal Volcano is the lowest volcano in the Philippines. It is only 311 meters above sea level. Although the volcano has been quiet since 1977, it has shown signs of unrest since 1991, with strong seismic activity and ground fracturing events, as well as the formation of small mud pots and mud geysers on parts of the island. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) regularly issues notices and warnings about current activity at Taal, including ongoing seismic unrest.
Yes. Because these lightnings occur at very low altitude out of the very dark clouds formed of volcanic ash. Such video captures of Volcanic Lightnings are rather rare. There exist some video clips on Youtube.