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Determination of ground conductivity and system parameters for optimal modeling of geomagnetically induced current flow in technological systems

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In this work, methods to determine technological system parameters and the ground conductivity structure from different sets of geomagnetically induced current (GIC), magnetic field and geoelectric field observations are explored. The goal of the work is to enable optimal modeling of induced currents in any technological system experiencing GIC. As an additional product, the introduced methods can also be applied to utilize GIC observations in the imaging of the subsurface geological structures. Here a robust processing scheme and Occam’s inversion technique familiar from magnetotelluric (MT) studies are applied to the determination of the ground conductivity structure. The application of the methods to GIC data from the Finnish pipeline for a storm period of October 24-November 1, 2003 demonstrate that optimal system parameters and ground conductivity structure can be obtained using time series comprising only 8 days worth of data. Importantly, the obtained ground model is in agreement with models obtained in earlier MT studies. Furthermore, it is shown that although in an ideal case the magnetic field data used should be obtained from the immediate vicinity of the GIC observation site, some spatial separation (200–300 km) between the sites can be tolerated.


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Correspondence to Antti Pulkkinen.

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Key words

  • Geomagnetic induction
  • geomagnetically induced currents
  • GIC
  • modeling
  • inversion
  • space weather