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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 761964, 10 pages
Research Article

An Approach to Model Earth Conductivity Structures with Lateral Changes for Calculating Induced Currents and Geoelectric Fields during Geomagnetic Disturbances

1Beijing Key Laboratory of High Voltage and EMC, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China
2Finnish Meteorological Institute, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
3Natural Resources Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0Y3
4State Key Laboratory of Alternate Electrical Power System with Renewable Energy Sources, North China Electric Power University, Beijing 102206, China

Received 30 August 2014; Revised 22 January 2015; Accepted 22 January 2015

Academic Editor: Hari M. Srivastava

Copyright © 2015 Bo Dong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


During geomagnetic disturbances, the telluric currents which are driven by the induced electric fields will flow in conductive Earth. An approach to model the Earth conductivity structures with lateral conductivity changes for calculating geoelectric fields is presented in this paper. Numerical results, which are obtained by the Finite Element Method (FEM) with a planar grid in two-dimensional modelling and a solid grid in three-dimensional modelling, are compared, and the flow of induced telluric currents in different conductivity regions is demonstrated. Then a three-dimensional conductivity structure is modelled and the induced currents in different depths and the geoelectric field at the Earth’s surface are shown. The geovoltages by integrating the geoelectric field along specific paths can be obtained, which are very important regarding calculations of geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) in ground-based technical networks, such as power systems.