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The electromagnetic response of a horizontal electric dipole buried in a multi-layered earthNormal access

Authors: A. Swidinsky, C. Kohnke and R.N. Edwards
Journal name: Geophysical Prospecting
Issue: Vol 66, No 1, January 2018 pp. 240 - 256
DOI: 10.1111/1365-2478.12552
Organisations: Wiley
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 5.05Mb )

Summary:
The electromagnetic response of a horizontal electric dipole transmitter in the presence of a conductive, layered earth is important in a number of geophysical applications, ranging from controlled-source audio-frequency magnetotellurics to borehole geophysics to marine electromagnetics. The problem has been thoroughly studied for more than a century, starting from a dipole resting on the surface of a halfspace and subsequently advancing all the way to a transmitter buried within a stack of anisotropic layers. The solution is still relevant today. For example, it is useful for one-dimensional modelling and interpretation, as well as to provide background fields for two- and three-dimensional modelling methods such as integral equation or primary–secondary field formulations. This tutorial borrows elements from the many texts and papers on the topic and combines them into what we believe is a helpful guide to performing layered earth electromagnetic field calculations. It is not intended to replace any of the existing work on the subject. However, we have found that this combination of elements is particularly effective in teaching electromagnetic theory and providing a basis for algorithmic development. Readers will be able to calculate electric and magnetic fields at any point in or above the earth, produced by a transmitter at any location. As an illustrative example, we calculate the fields of a dipole buried in a multi-layered anisotropic earth to demonstrate how the theory that developed in this tutorial can be implemented in practice; we then use the example to examine the diffusion of volume charge density within anisotropic media—a rarely visualised process. The algorithm is internally validated by comparing the response of many thin layers with alternating high and low conductivity values to the theoretically equivalent (yet algorithmically simpler) anisotropic solution, as well as externally validated against an independent algorithm.

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