Forward modeling of magnetotellurics using Comsol Multiphysics
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Magnetotellurics is an electromagnetic geophysical method that has been widely used to study structures in Earth's subsurface. Numerical modeling of magnetotellurics is important for survey design, inversion, geological interpretation and many other aspects of geophysical studies. For example, modeling a subsurface conductive body in terms of its conductivity, geometry and dipping angle would yield substantial information on the phase response and sensitivity in an MT survey. While there are many different modeling techniques, the finite element method is most commonly used. In this effort, we present magnetotelluric models of layered Earth, uplift structures, auroral electrojets, and geomagnetically induced currents in power-line skywires using the commercial finite-element package Comsol Multiphysics. The AC/DC module in Comsol can be used to solve Maxwell's equations in the quasi-static limit for modeling the magnetotelluric response. One of the advantages of Comsol modeling is its Graphical User Interface (GUI), which allows users to solve complex single or multi-physics problems in a meshed domain. The use of Comsol also reduces the need for sophisticated computer coding when solving partial differential equations such as Maxwell's equations. In the effort presented here, we first discuss model validation for layered Earth geometries. We then present two examples of magnetotellurics modeling in impact crater and geomagnetically induced current studies. Numerical results were compared with analytical solutions or benchmark results whenever possible.
CitationLi , A., and Butler, S.L., (2021) Forward modeling of magnetotellurics using Comsol Multiphysics, Applied Computing and Geosciences, (12), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acags.2021.100073
Magnetotellurics Comsol multiphysics Complex crater Geomagnetically induced curent Tipper