Journal Article Numerical studies of geomagnetically induced electric field on seafloor and near coastal zones incorporated with heterogeneous conductivity distributions

Goto, Tada-nori

67 ( 1 ) 2015-12-02 , SpringerOpen
Abrupt changes of geomagnetic field can make large induced electric field and resultant electric current on the earth, which is called as geomagnetically induced current (GIC). It can yield damages to pipelines, cables, and other architectures. For understanding the phenomena and future risks of GIC, it is necessary to evaluate how the sub-surface electrical conductivity structure is important for the GIC because the heterogeneous conductivity structure in the crust and mantle affects the induced electrical current locally. The hazard prediction based on the homogeneous earth may result in the underestimation. Here, I introduce possible cases of geomagnetically induced electric field (GIE) on seafloor and near coastal areas, based on numerical forward simulations on one-, two-, and three-dimensional (1-D, 2-D, and 3-D) earth’s structure including the sea layer. On the 1-D case, I show the possible amplitude of GIE on the seafloor, far from the coastal area. The second case study comes from 2-D forward simulation, in which the straightly elongated coastal line is assumed, and various sub-surface and sub-seafloor conductivity structures are imposed. The numerical results suggest that the amplitude of GIE on land becomes more than two times larger than that of the homogeneous earth without the sea layer. The width of land zone with larger GIE is about 20 km from the coast. In forward modeling with a simplified 3-D bathymetry, land electric field near the bay area increases with about ten times larger than that of the inland one. The seafloor GIE near the peninsula area also indicates about four times larger value than that of the other area at the same water depth. These phenomena can be explained by the boundary charge along the coastal area. I conclude that 3-D earth’s conductivity structure including the realistic bathymetry and sub-surface and sub-seafloor structures should be essential and focused for the hazard assessment of GIC.

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