A comparison of techniques for magnetotelluric response function estimation

Alan G. Jones, Alan D. Chave, Gary Egbert, Don Auld, Karsten Bahr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

206 Citations (Scopus)


Spectral analysis of the time-varying horizontal magnetic and electric field components yields the magnetotelluric (MT) impedance tensor. This frequency dependent 2 × 2 complex tensor can be examined for details which are diagnostic of the electrical conductivity distribution in the Earth within the relevant (frequency dependent) inductive scale length of the surface observation point. As such, precise and accurate determination of this tensor from the electromagnetic time series is fundamental to successful interpretation of the derived responses. In this paper, several analysis techniques are applied to the same data set from one of the EMSLAB Lincoln Line sites. It is concluded that robust processing methods should become adopted for the analysis of MT data, and that whenever possible remote reference fields should be used to avoid bias due to uncorrelated noise contributions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Pages (from-to)201-213
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research
Issue numberB10
Publication statusPublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes


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