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Geomagnetism Program research plan, 2020–2024

September 11, 2020

The Geomagnetism Program of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) monitors geomagnetic field variation through operation of a network of observatories across the United States and its territories, and it pursues scientific research needed to estimate and assess geomagnetic and geoelectric hazards. Over the next five years (2020–2024 inclusive) and in support of national and agency priorities, Geomagnetism Program research scientists plan to pursue an integrated set of research projects broadly encompassing empirical estimation and mapping of geomagnetic disturbance, modeling of solid-Earth conductivity structure and surface impedance, and mapping of magnetic-storm-induced geoelectric fields. Analyses are empirically based, relying on measured time series as well as statistical and numerical modeling of geomagnetic-monitoring data from ground-based observatories and surface-impedance tensors acquired during magnetotelluric surveys. The plan describes augmentation and development of the Geomagnetism Program's existing research portfolio, assuming present funding levels and staffing numbers. Because the projects are interdependent, they cannot be straightforwardly prioritized. They will all be pursued as resources and time permit; additional funding and staffing would enable the projects to be broadened and more rapidly completed. Where appropriate and subject to budgetary constraints and staffing numbers, research on specific projects might be accelerated or even judiciously expanded—some opportunities for expansion are discussed in this plan. Results will provide realistic illumination of the nature of the ground-level expression of space-weather disturbance, a subject of particular importance for projects focused on evaluating the vulnerability of electric-power-grid systems. This plan does not cover Geomagnetism Program operations, which are primarily concerned with the operation of magnetic observatories and, now, magnetotelluric surveys, although the context of such observatories and surveys is discussed. The research element of the program provides guidance for the expansion of program operations and research projects. In addition to the research projects summarized here, program scientists continue to provide leadership to the national and international geomagnetic, magnetotelluric, and space-weather communities.

Publication Year 2020
Title Geomagnetism Program research plan, 2020–2024
DOI 10.3133/cir1469
Authors Jeffrey J. Love, Anna Kelbert, Benjamin S. Murphy, E. Joshua Rigler, Kristen A. Lewis
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Circular
Series Number 1469
Index ID cir1469
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Energy Resources Science Center; Geologic Hazards Science Center