Towed in-line transient electric dipole-dipole systems are being used to map the electrical conductivity of the sea floor. The characteristic response of a double half-space model representing conductive seawater and less conductive crustal material to a dipole-dipole system located at the interface consists of two distinct parts. As time in the transient measurements progresses, two changes in field strength are observed. The first change is caused by the diffusion of the electromagnetic field through the resistive sea floor; the second is caused by diffusion through the seawater. The characteristic times at which the two events occur are measures of sea-floor and seawater conductivity, respectively. Entirely equivalent responses are observed in a frequency-domain measurement as frequency is swept from high to low.The simple double half-space response is modified when the towed array crosses over a conductivity anomaly. I evaluate the magnitude of the anomalous response as a function of delay time and frequency using a two-dimensional theory and a vertical, plate-like target. If the ratio of the conductivity of the seawater to that of the sea floor is greater than unity, then an optimum time delay or frequency can be found which maximizes the response. For large conductivity contrasts, the optimum response is greater than the response at late time or zero frequency by a factor of the order of the conductivity ratio.

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