A review of progress in FDTD Maxwell's equations modeling of impulsive subionospheric propagation below 300 kHz

Jamesina J. Simpson*, Allen Taflove

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Wave propagation at the bottom of the electromagnetic spectrum (below 300 kHz) in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide system has been an interesting and important area of investigation for the last four decades. Such wave propagation is characterized by complex phenomena involving nonhomogeneous and anisotropic media, and can result in resonances of the entire Earth-ionosphere cavity. In the spirit of this Special Issue, the goal of this paper is to call attention to emerging finite-difference time-domain computational solutions of Maxwell's equations for wave propagation below 300 kHz which promise to complement and extend previous analyses by pioneers such as Profs. Wait and Felsen. The following topical areas are discussed: long-range two-dimensional propagation, lightning sources and radiation, global propagation, Schumann resonances, hypothesized pre-seismic lithosphere sources and radiation, detection of deep underground resource formations, and remote sensing of localized ionospheric anomalies. We conclude with a prospectus for future research, especially in incorporating the physics of the anisotropic, nonhomogeneous magnetized plasma in a global planetary ionosphere.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1582-1590
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Jun 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Earth
  • Earthquake
  • Elves
  • Extremely low frequency (ELF)
  • Finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)
  • Global temperature
  • Ionosphere
  • Ionospheric disturbances
  • Lightning
  • Low frequency (LF)
  • Oil fields
  • Propagation
  • Radar
  • Remote-sensing
  • Schumann resonances
  • Sprites
  • Transient amplitude and phase perturbations of subionospheric signals (TRIMPIS)
  • Ultralow frequency (ULF)
  • Very low frequency (VLF)
  • Waveguide

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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