Seabed propagation of ULF/ELF electromagnetic fields from harmonic dipole sources located on the seafloor


  • A. C. Fraser-Smith,

  • A. S. Inan,

  • O. G. Villard Jr.,

  • R. G. Joiner


The amplitudes of the quasi-static electromagnetic fields generated at points on the seafloor by harmonic dipole sources (vertically directed magnetic dipoles, horizontally directed magnetic dipoles, vertically directed electric dipoles, and horizontally directed electric dipoles) also located on the seafloor are computed using a numerical integration technique. The primary purpose of these computations is to obtain field amplitudes that can be used in undersea communication studies. An important secondary purpose is to examine the enhancements of the fields produced at moderate to large distances by the presence of the relatively less conducting seafloor, as compared with the fields produced at the same distances in a sea of infinite extent, for frequencies in the ULF/ELF bands (frequencies less than 3 kHz). These latter enhancements can be surprisingly large, with increases of 4 orders of magnitude or more being typical at distances of 20 seawater skin depths.