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.

Keeping the Lights On in North America

Keeping the Lights On in North America

Realtime geoelectric maps during a magnetic storm can assist utility companies with their operations and can help power-grid managers to make decisions that may minimize the impact to their systems.

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Risk of Once-Per-Century Geomagnetic Superstorm in NE United States

Risk of Once-Per-Century Geomagnetic Superstorm in NE United States

A new report and map published by the U.S. Geological Survey provides critical insight to electric power grid operators across the northeastern United States in the event of a once-per-century magnetic superstorm.  

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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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News

Date published: December 5, 2019

Airplane to Make Low-Level Flights Over Parts of the Eastern Mojave Desert, California and Nevada

For about two months, starting around December 7, 2019, an airplane operated under contract to the USGS will be making low-level flights over parts of the eastern Mojave Desert.

Date published: September 18, 2019

USGS Hazard Science – Understanding the Risks is Key to 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: March 5, 2019

New U.S. Geological Survey Report Assesses Risk of Once-Per-Century Geomagnetic Superstorm to the Northeastern United States

A new report and map published by the U.S. Geological Survey provides critical insight to electric power grid operators across the northeastern United States in the event of a once-per-century magnetic superstorm.  

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

Intensity and impact of the New York Railroad superstorm of May 1921

Analysis is made of low‐latitude ground‐based magnetometer data recording the magnetic superstorm of May 1921. By inference, the storm was driven by a series of interplanetary coronal mass ejections, one of which produced a maximum pressure on the magnetopause of ~64.5 nPa, sufficient to compress the subsolar magnetopause radius to ~5.3 Earth...

Love, Jeffrey J.; Hayakawa, Hisashi; Cliver, Edward W.

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Year Published: 2019

Rapid station and network quality analysis for temporary deployments

Seismic station data quality is commonly defined by metrics such as data completeness or background seismic noise levels in specific frequency bands. However, for temporary networks such as aftershock deployments or induced seismicity monitoring, the most critical metric is often how well the station performs when recording events of interest. A...

Wilson, David C.; Ringler, Adam T.; Storm, Tyler; Anthony, Robert E.

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Year Published: 2019

Data sharing in magnetotellurics

Here, we introduce the first openly available comprehensive database of magnetotelluric (MT) and related electromagnetic data that we developed and matured over the past decade, explain how to access the data, and describe the challenges that had to be overcome to make MT data sharing possible. The database is a helpful tool for MT scientists, and...

Kelbert, Anna; Erofeeva, Svetlana; Trabant, Chad; Karstens, Rich; Van Fossen, Mickey C.