TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 54 (No. 5), pp. 433-441, 2002

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

N. A. Palshin1, L. L. Vanyan1, A. M. Poray-Koshits1, V. A. Matyushenko2, P. Kaikkonen3, and J. Tiikkainen3

1Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 117851 Moscow, Russia
2Institute of Ecological Problems of the North, Russian Academy of Sciences, 640003 Arkhangelsk, Russia
3University of Oulu, Oulu, FIN-90570, Finland

(Received December 11, 2000; Revised November 15, 2001; Accepted December 4, 2001)

Abstract: 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.

Corresponding author E-mail: palshin@geo.sio.rssi.ru

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