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Annales Geophysicae An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 22, issue 1
Ann. Geophys., 22, 101-113, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-22-101-2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Ann. Geophys., 22, 101-113, 2004
https://doi.org/10.5194/angeo-22-101-2004
© Author(s) 2004. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  01 Jan 2004

01 Jan 2004

Fast computation of the geoelectric field using the method of elementary current systems and planar Earth models

A. Viljanen1, A. Pulkkinen1, O. Amm1, R. Pirjola1, T. Korja*,2, and BEAR Working Group3 A. Viljanen et al.
  • 1Finnish Meteorological Institute, Geophysical Research Division, P.O.B. 503, FIN-00101 Helsinki, Finland
  • 2Geological Survey of Finland, P.O.B. 96, FIN-02151 Espoo, Finland
  • 3Contact person: T. Korja
  • *now at: University of Oulu, Department of Geosciences, P.O.B. 3000, FIN-90014 Oulu, Finland

Abstract. The method of spherical elementary current systems provides an accurate modelling of the horizontal component of the geomagnetic variation field. The interpolated magnetic field is used as input to calculate the horizontal geoelectric field. We use planar layered (1-D) models of the Earth's conductivity, and assume that the electric field is related to the local magnetic field by the plane wave surface impedance. There are locations in which the conductivity structure can be approximated by a 1-D model, as demonstrated with the measurements of the Baltic Electromagnetic Array Research project. To calculate geomagnetically induced currents (GIC), we need the spatially integrated electric field typically in a length scale of 100km. We show that then the spatial variation of the electric field can be neglected if we use the measured or interpolated magnetic field at the site of interest. In other words, even the simple plane wave model is fairly accurate for GIC purposes. Investigating GIC in the Finnish high-voltage power system and in the natural gas pipeline, we find a good agreement between modelled and measured values, with relative errors less than 30% for large GIC values.

Key words. Geomagnetism and paleomagnetism (geomagnetic induction; rapid time variations) – Ionosphere (electric field and currents)

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