Tone Burst Eddy current Thermography (TBET) is a new hybrid, non-contacting, Non-Destructive Evaluation (NDE) method which employs a combination of Pulsed Eddy current Thermography (PEC) and Thermographic Non-Destructive Evaluation (TNDE). For understanding the influence of cracking and pitting on heat generation and flow within a metallic body, a fundamental knowledge of the detailed induced current density distribution in the component under test is required. This information enables us to calculate the amount of heat produced by the defects and how that heat diffuses to the surface where it is imaged. This paper describes simulation work done for artificial pits and cracks within pits on the far surface of poorly conducting metals like stainless steel. The first phase of this investigation simulates the transient thermal distribution for artificial 2D pit and crack-like defects using the finite element package COMSOL multi-physics with the AC/DC module and general heat transfer. Considering the reflection measurement geometry where thermal excitation and temperature monitoring are on the same surface, pitting reduces the material volume thereby contributing to a larger temperature rise for the same thermal energy input. A crack within a pit gives a further increase in temperature above the pure pit baseline. The tone burst frequency can be changed to obtain approximately uniform heating (low frequency) or heating of a thin region at the observation surface. Although front surface temperature changes due to 10% deep far-side pits in a 6 mm thick plate can be measured, it is not yet clear whether a 20% deep crack within this pit can be discriminated against the background. Both simulations and measurements will be presented. The objective of this work is to determine whether the TBET method is suitable for the detection and characterization of far side pitting, cracking and cracks within those pits. © 2013 American Institute of Physics.