• Studies of Ground Conductivity in the Territory of Alaska

      Stanley, Glenn M. (Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, 1958-10-31)
      The effective ground conductivity of Alaska has been determined by a comparison of experimental and theoretical field strengths. The experimental field strengths have been obtained by use of an airborne receiver, flown along radial paths from a large number of CAA radio ranges and beacons. The surface wave attenuation factor was computed for both a plane and a curved, homogeneous earth by methods presented by Norton. The experimentally determined relative field strengths were plotted as a function of distance and were compared with a family of curves for assumed values of conductivity and dielectric constant. From this comparison, that value of conductivity that best fits the experimental data is taken as the effective conductivity over the path. An investigation of the effect at dielectric constant on the transmitted signal shows that, within the frequency range used, a change of dielectric constant from 1 to 20 has but little effect on the attenuation of the transmitted signal for values of conductivity between 1 and 5 mmho/m. The experimental results indicate that for most sections of Alaska, the effective conductivity falls within this range. In some cases the earth was not homogeneous over the entire flight path as evidenced by changes in the slope of the field strength vs distance curves. In such cases, the data were replotted with an initial point at the discontinuity and new theoretical curves were drawn for each section of the field strength vs distance curves. Investigation of the variation of effective conductivity with change of frequency and at different seasons was made. In addition, wave tilt methods of determining the conductivity were used. A 'Ground Constants Measuring Set' was obtained from the Signal Corps and measurements were made in selected areas in Alaska. Attempts were made to use 1height-gain' and 'mutual coupling of loops' techniques but these were not successful. An investigation of anomolous propagation in the vicinity of Point Barrow was made. It was determined that this anomolous propagation appears to be the result of a layered earth. In addition to the anomolous propagation in the vicinity of Point Barrow, there appears to be similar anomolies in the vicinity of Kotzebue, Galena, Bethel and Port Heiden. From the above investigations a map showing the effective conductivity of Alaska as determined by the attenuation method is presented.