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Measurements of motionally induced voltage in the coastal zone of the Throat of the White Sea


The theoretical relationship between non-local motionally induced voltages (MIV) and tidal currents is validated with observations of natural low-frequency electric field at the coast of the Throat of the White Sea (northwestern Russia). The Throat of the White Sea is a strait of 50-km width and about 500-km length with depths varying from 20 to 50 m connecting semi-closed White Sea basin with the Barents Sea. Strong tidal currents providing a reference signal for calibrating coastal measurements of non-local MIV characterize the Throat. The measurements were carried out simultaneously by means of two horizontal receiving on-land and land-sea antennas. Tidally driven MIV dominates in all time series obtained in the coastal zone of the Throat of the White Sea. Monitoring of non-local MIV within the coastal zone could be used for studies of wind tides, residual tidal circulation and temporal variability of a quasi-stationary current. MIV measurements offer an important advantage over traditional oceanographic methods (currents meters, etc.), because it works also in winter period (about 6 months) when the White Sea is covered by ice. The main disadvantage of this technique is a necessity to calibrate non-local MIV with some other oceanographic direct or remote measurements.


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Correspondence to N. A. Palshin.

Additional information

Prof. Leonid L. Vanyan passed away suddenly on 31 October 2001.

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Palshin, N.A., Vanyan, L.L., Poray-Koshits, A.M. et al. Measurements of motionally induced voltage in the coastal zone of the Throat of the White Sea. Earth Planet Sp 54, 433–441 (2002).

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  • Coastal Zone
  • Tidal Current
  • Water Velocity
  • Tidal Constituent
  • Submarine Cable