We examined simultaneous measurements of currents and close electric field changes, as well as highspeed video images, associated with pulses superimposed on the initial continuous current (ICC pulses) and M-components following return strokes in upward flashes initiated from the Gaisberg Tower in Austria. For tower-initiated lightning, upward leaders often create multiple branches below the cloud base that can facilitate initiation of transients at relatively low heights along the grounded channel carrying ICC of some tens to hundreds of amperes. In this situation, a conducting channel is present, which is necessary for the M-component mode of charge transfer to ground, but the excitation wave (leader), after entering the channel, cannot form a long-front downward M-wave, because of the relatively short distance between the entry (junction) point and the strike-object top. Clearly, two parallel channels, one previously existing and the other newly formed (or rejuvenated) are involved in the charge transfer, and there is a common channel section between the junction point and the strike object. We use the term "mixed mode of charge transfer to ground", to indicate that in the case of low junction point the "classical" M-component mode is not possible, even though a conducting channel to ground (an attribute of the M-component mode) is present. The mixed mode scenario is also applicable to impulsive processes during continuing currents following return strokes in upward lightning.
2015. Vol. 125, 38-49 p.