Geomagnetism

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We monitor the Earth's magnetic field. Using ground-based observatories, we provide continuous records of magnetic field variations; disseminate magnetic data to various governmental, academic, and private institutions; and conduct research into the nature of geomagnetic variations for purposes of scientific understanding and hazard mitigation.

Rocks Under I-95 Present Odd, and Scary, Threat to Power Grid

Rocks Under I-95 Present Odd, and Scary, Threat to Power Grid

A soon-to-be-published USGS publication points out geomagnetic hazards in the Eastern U.S. (Bloomberg News Story)

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The Electric Storm of November 1882

 The Electric Storm of November 1882

Strange things started happening on November 17, 1882, and no one knew quite what to make of it.(image from Baranyi et al., 2016)

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New 3D Measurements Improve Understanding of Geomagnetic Storm Hazards

New 3D Measurements Improve Understanding of Geomagnetic Storm Hazards

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News

Date published: September 18, 2018

Science for a Risky World: A USGS Plan for Risk Research and Applications – USGS publishes strategic plan for examining risk

USGS explores opportunities to advance its capabilities in risk assessment, mitigation, and communication in new strategic plan.

Date published: September 18, 2018

USGS Science – Leading the Way for Preparedness

Learn About USGS Hazards Science and More About National Preparedness Month: The very nature of natural hazards means that they have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year.  USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.

Date published: August 8, 2018

Mapping Extreme-Value Geoelectric Fields

To help mitigate magnetic storm interference on electric power grid operations, extreme-value geoelectric fields have been mapped across the mid-Atlantic United States. (EOS article) Read Article.

Publications

Year Published: 2018

Geoelectric hazard maps for the Pacific Northwest

Maps of extreme value, horizontal component geoelectric field amplitude are constructed for the Pacific Northwest United States (and parts of neighboring Canada). Multidecade long geoelectric field time series are calculated by convolving Earth surface impedance tensors from 71 discrete magnetotelluric survey sites across the region with...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Lucas, Greg M.; Kelbert, Anna; Bedrosian, Paul A.

Year Published: 2018

On the feasibility of real-time mapping of the geoelectric field across North America

A review is given of the present feasibility for accurately mapping geoelectric fields across North America in near-realtime by modeling geomagnetic monitoring and magnetotelluric survey data. Should this capability be successfully developed, it could inform utility companies of magnetic-storm interference on electric-power-grid systems. That real...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Rigler, E. Joshua; Kelbert, Anna; Finn, Carol A.; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Balch, Christopher C.
Love, J.J., Rigler, E.J., Kelbert, Anna, Finn, C.A., Bedrosian, P.A., and Balch, C.C., 2018, On the feasibility of real-time mapping of the geoelectric field across North America: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018-1043, 16 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181043.

Year Published: 2018

Geoelectric hazard assessment: the differences of geoelectric responses during magnetic storms within common physiographic zones

Geomagnetic field data obtained through the INTERMAGNET program are convolved with with magnetotelluric surface impedance from four EarthScope USArray sites to estimate the geoelectric variations throughout the duration of a magnetic storm. A duration of time from June 22, 2016, to June 25, 2016, is considered which encompasses a...

Cuttler, Stephen W.; Love, Jeffrey J.; Swidinsky, Andrei
Cuttler, S. W., Love, J. J. & Swidinsky, A., 2018. Geoelectric hazard assessment: the differences of geoelectric responses during magnetic storms within common physiographic zones, Earth Planets Space, 70, 35, doi:10.1186/s40623-018-0807-7.