The problem of current channelling: A critical review

Alan G. Jones*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Citations (Scopus)


The notion that currents induced 'elsewhere', by external source fields, could wend their way in a frequency-independent ohmic-like manner through a region of interest has been the cause of many recent disputes within the geomagnetic induction community. In particular, two-dimensional (2D) models of the Rhinegraben, and of the region known as the 'Eskdalemuir anomaly' in southern Scotland, have been dismissed as erroneous by those who believe that the observations are more correctly interpreted as due to the effects of 'channelled' currents rather than 'induced' currents. In this review, attention is paid primarily to consider under what circumstances any perturbation of current flow, which may manifest itself as a 'DC-like' channelled current, could cause a 'problem' for those wishing to interpret their observations. Various concepts are introduced, particularly the ratio of 3D/2D current channelling numbers for the induction problem, which is shown to be the ratio of the length of the 3D body to the skin depth in the host medium. It is stressed that the worker must analyse his data by adequate statistical techniques, and that the simplest physical models possible, that describes the observations, must be sought. Finally, suggestions are made for further work to be undertaken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-122
Number of pages44
JournalGeophysical Surveys
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1983
Externally publishedYes


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