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Several mechanisms can be at work when electrical discharges occur across a thin layer of an insulating liquid. The evidence is derived from the time-lag distributions of series of consecutive discharges when the measurements are performed with a sequence of constant voltage pulses.
Frei, Charles J. and O'Dwyer, Aidan :Fast discharges in thin liquid layers. Conference Record of the 1986 IEEE International Symposium on Electrical Insulation, pp. 86-89, Washington DC, USA, June. doi:10.21427/2kk4-9155