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The performance of high-voltage apparatus is seriously restricted by the surface discharge on dielectric materials. A surface charge density distribution scanning system is developed with a dc feedback-type electrostatic probe based on the field-nullifying technique. The residual charge density distribution after the occurrence of a positive leader discharge is measured. Using the 2-D Fourier transformation in the spatial domain and Tikhonov's regularization method, the surface potential distribution and electric field distribution are arrived at. The leader stem and radial lament streamer zone located at the head of the leader can clearly be distinguished from the distributions. There is an obvious knee point that divides the main channel of the discharge into a leader channel and a streamer channel. The knee point is at about 9 kV, which corresponds to about 320 pC/mm2.