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Based on the boundary characteristic of a dc transmission line, the response of transient harmonic current in the line-commutated converter HVDC transmission system is analyzed under various fault conditions in this paper. A new transient harmonic current protection scheme is proposed. The discrete Fourier transform is used to extract transient harmonic currents at both terminals of the dc transmission line and the type of fault can be identified by the transient harmonic currents. Two main factors including fault resistance and fault location that affect performance of the protection are also discussed in this study. The test system is modeled based on the CIGRE benchmark including distributed parameters of the dc transmission line. Comprehensive test studies show that the performance of the transient harmonic current protection scheme is encouraging. It can not only identify internal faults and external faults correctly and quickly, but also can respond to high ground resistance faults.