The first 3D conductivity model of the contiguous US: Reflections on geologic structure and application to induction hazards

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Abstract

Estimation of ground level geoelectric fields has been identified by the National Space Weather Action Plan as a key component of assessment and mitigation of space weather impacts on critical infrastructure. Estimates of spatially and temporally variable electric fields are used to generate statistically based hazard maps and show promise toward monitoring and responding to geomagnetic disturbances in near real‐time. One approach to geoelectric field estimation is to employ three‐dimensional (3D) Earth conductivity models. These data‐constrained conductivity models are the results of regional magnetotelluric inversions based primarily on NSF’s Earthscope USArray impedances, which to date cover ~60% of the contiguous United States. Here, we present the first‐ever composite conductivity model of the contiguous United States and describe its compilation from 3D regional conductivity models, a global mantle conductivity model, offshore bathymetry, and sediment thickness data. We discuss structures within the conductivity model and how they relate to the complex geologic tapestry of the continent. Finally, we discuss the utility of this synthesis model for estimation and mitigation of geomagnetically induced currents.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title The first 3D conductivity model of the contiguous US: Reflections on geologic structure and application to induction hazards
Chapter 8
DOI 10.1002/9781119434412.ch8
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 25 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Monograph
Larger Work Title Geomagnetically induced currents from the Sun to the power grid
First page 127
Last page 151
Country United States
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