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  • Article
  • Open Access

A simple method for deriving the uniform field MT responses in auroral zones

Earth, Planets and Space201454:BF03353035

  • Received: 29 December 2000
  • Accepted: 3 November 2001
  • Published:


Source field effects in magnetotelluric data acquired at high geomagnetic latitudes can result in erroneous interpretations of Earth conductivity structure deep within the mantle. This paper describes a simple technique most appropriate for a region that is dominantly one-dimensional (1-D) and uses the vertical magnetic field variations for identifying intervals of likely low contamination by non-uniform sources. Times are chosen when the variations stay within prescribed limits defined on the basis of a histogram of the variations for the whole recording interval. An example is given showing application of the method for data from a site under the auroral oval at a time when solar activity was at its lowest for the last solar cycle. A model derived from the responses obtained by processing all available data implies a decrease in resistivity at about 350 km to about 100 Ω.m. In contrast, the model obtained from low activity interval responses shows a less rapid decrease in resistivity, without a change at around the 410 km phase boundary. The responses obtained from all data can be explained by the influence of a source with an average wavelength of 3,000 km.


  • Solar Cycle
  • Apparent Resistivity
  • Auroral Zone
  • Auroral Oval
  • Instantaneous Amplitude