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Modeling geomagnetic induction in submarine cables

October 31, 2022

Submarine cables have become a vital component of modern infrastructure, but past submarine cable natural hazard studies have mostly focused on potential cable damage from landslides and tsunamis. A handful of studies examine the possibility of space weather effects in submarine cables. The main purpose of this study is to develop a computational model, using Python, of geomagnetic induction on submarine cables. The model is used to estimate the induced voltage in the submarine cables in response to geomagnetic disturbances. It also utilizes newly acquired knowledge from magnetotelluric studies and associated investigations of geomagnetically induced currents in power systems. We describe the Python-based software, its working principle, inputs/outputs based on synthetic geomagnetic field data, and compare its operational capabilities against analytical solutions. We present the results for different model inputs, and find: 1) the seawater layer acts as a shield in the induction process: the greater the ocean depth, the smaller the seafloor geoelectric field; and 2) the model is sensitive to the Ocean-Earth layered conductivity structure.

Publication Year 2022
Title Modeling geomagnetic induction in submarine cables
DOI 10.3389/fphy.2022.1022475
Authors Shibaji Chakraborty, David H. Boteler, Xueling Shi, Benjamin Scott Murphy, Michael D. Hartinger, Xuan Wang, Greg M. Lucas, Joseph B. H. Baker
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Frontiers in Physics
Index ID 70237947
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center