TERRAPUB Earth, Planets and Space

Earth Planets Space, Vol. 54 (No. 5), pp. 443-450, 2002

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

Alan G. Jones and Jessica Spratt

Geological Survey of Canada, 615 Booth St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1M 0E9 Canada

(Received December 29, 2000; Revised October 2, 2001; Accepted November 3, 2001)

Abstract: 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 W.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.

Corresponding author E-mail: ajones@nrcan.gc.ca

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