Programs L2 Landing Page
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.
Geomagnetism is the study of the Earth's magnetic field. This includes the fields produced by the Earth as well as those interacting with the Earth. Internal dynamo processes within the Earth create slowly changing magnetic fields. The continuous flow of particles and fields from the Sun (called the solar wind) interacts with the Earth's magnetic field. Strong, transient impulses due to solar...
The Geomagnetism Program has operated an observatory at Puerto Rico since 1903. The current observatory site, consisting of 36 acres in the mountains near Cayey, has been in use since 1965.
Prior to the purchase of Alaska by the United States, the Russians operated a meteorological and magnetic observatory at Sitka from 1842 to 1867. The Geomagnetism Program established an observatory at Sitka, near the historic Russian cemetery, in 1901, when the Program was part of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and under the leadership of Drs Louis A. Bauer and John A. Fleming. The present...
Movie-maps of low-latitude horizontal-intensity magnetic disturbance are derived from magnetic vector time series data collected at multiple ground-based observatories. Using a technique similar to that used in the calculation of Dst, a quiet time baseline is subtracted from the time series from each observatory. The remaining disturbance time series are shown in a polar coordinate system that...
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.
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
Calculation of voltages in electric power transmission lines during historic geomagnetic storms: An investigation using realistic earth impedances
Commonly, one-dimensional (1-D) Earth impedances have been used to calculate the voltages induced across electric power transmission lines during geomagnetic storms under the assumption that much of the three-dimensional structure of the Earth gets smoothed when integrating along power transmission lines. We calculate the voltage across power...Lucas, Greg M.; Love, Jeffrey J.; Kelbert, Anna
Geoelectric hazard maps for the Mid-Atlantic United States: 100 year extreme values and the 1989 magnetic storm
Maps of extreme value geoelectric field amplitude are constructed for the Mid‐Atlantic United States, a region with high population density and critically important power grid infrastructure. Geoelectric field time series for the years 1983–2014 are estimated by convolving Earth surface impedances obtained from 61 magnetotelluric survey sites...Love, Jeffrey J.; Lucas, Greg M.; Kelbert, Anna; Bedrosian, Paul A.
Extreme-event geoelectric hazard maps: Chapter 9
Maps of geoelectric amplitude covering about half the continental United States are presented that will be exceeded, on average, once per century in response to an extreme-intensity geomagnetic disturbance. These maps are constructed using an empirical parameterization of induction: convolving latitude-dependent statistical maps of extreme-value...Love, Jeffrey J.; Bedrosian, Paul A.
The electric storm of November 1882
In November 1882, an intense magnetic storm related to a large sunspot group caused widespread interference to telegraph and telephone systems and provided spectacular and unusual auroral displays. The (ring current) storm time disturbance index for this storm reached maximum −Dst ≈ 386 nT, comparable to Halloween storm of 29–31...Love, Jeffrey J.
Geoelectric monitoring at the Boulder magnetic observatory
Despite its importance to a range of applied and fundamental studies, and obvious parallels to a robust network of magnetic-field observatories, long-term geoelectric field monitoring is rarely performed. The installation of a new geoelectric monitoring system at the Boulder magnetic observatory of the US Geological Survey is summarized. Data from...Blum, Cletus; White, Tim; Sauter, Edward A.; Stewart, Duff; Bedrosian, Paul A.; Love, Jeffrey J.
U.S. Geological Survey experience with the residual absolutes method
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Geomagnetism Program has developed and tested the residual method of absolutes, with the assistance of the Danish Technical University's (DTU) Geomagnetism Program. Three years of testing were performed at College Magnetic Observatory (CMO), Fairbanks, Alaska, to compare the residual method...Worthington, E. William; Matzka, Jurgen
Methodology for time-domain estimation of storm time geoelectric fields using the 3-D magnetotelluric response tensors
Geoelectric fields at the Earth's surface caused by magnetic storms constitute a hazard to the operation of electric power grids and related infrastructure. The ability to estimate these geoelectric fields in close to real time and provide local predictions would better equip the industry to mitigate negative impacts on their operations. Here we...Kelbert, Anna; Balch, Christopher; Pulkkinen, Antti; Egbert, Gary D; Love, Jeffrey J.; Rigler, E. Joshua; Fujii, Ikuko
Geomagnetically induced currents: Science, engineering, and applications readiness
This paper is the primary deliverable of the very first NASA Living With a Star Institute Working Group, Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GIC) Working Group. The paper provides a broad overview of the current status and future challenges pertaining to the science, engineering, and applications of the GIC problem. Science is understood here as the...Pulkkinen, Antti; Bernabeu, E.; Thomson, A.; Viljanen, A.; Pirjola, R.; Boteler, D.; Eichner, J.; Cilliers, P.J.; Welling, D.; Savani, N.P.; Weigel, R.S.; Love, Jeffrey J.; Balch, Christopher; Ngwira, C.M.; Crowley, G.; Schultz, Adam; Kataoka, R.; Anderson, B.; Fugate, D.; Simpson, J.J.; MacAlester, M.
Real-time geomagnetic monitoring for space weather-related applications: Opportunities and challenges
An examination is made of opportunities and challenges for enhancing global, real-time geomagnetic monitoring that would be beneficial for a variety of operational projects. This enhancement in geomagnetic monitoring can be attained by expanding the geographic distribution of magnetometer stations, improving the quality of magnetometer data,...Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol
Magnetic monitoring in Saguaro National Park
On a sandy, arid plain, near the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center of Saguaro National Park, tucked in among brittlebush, creosote, and other hardy desert plants, is an unusual type of observatory—a small unmanned station that is used for monitoring the Earth’s variable magnetic field. Named for the nearby city of Tucson, Arizona, the observatory...Love, Jeffrey J.; Finn, Carol; Gamez Valdez, Yesenia C.; Swann, Don
from The Washington Post
Fredericksburg Magnetic Observatory and Laboratory Corbin, Virginia.
Construction is now in progress on a new magnetic observatory for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey near Ewa. It will serve as the nerve center for magnetic observations and will be the heart of the seismic wave warning system in the Pacific area.
Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of the earth, as opposed to the one-dimensional models typically used, can help scientists more accurately determine which areas of the United States are most vulnerable to blackouts during hazardous geomagnetic storms.
With hurricanes in the east and wildfires in the west, natural hazards 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.
While major geomagnetic storms are rare, with only a few recorded per century, there is significant potential for large-scale impacts when they do occur. Extreme space weather can be viewed as hazards for the economy and national security.
New strides have been made toward quantifying how geomagnetic storms can interfere with the nation’s electric-power grid systems.
September is National Preparedness Month, a time to highlight the resources available to help you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible.
Magnetic storms can interfere with the operation of electric power grids and damage grid infrastructure. They can also disrupt directional drilling for oil and gas, radio communications, communication satellites and GPS systems.
USGS explores the meaning behind Frederic Edwin Church's 1865 painting, “Aurora Borealis.”
Join millions of people participating in America’s PrepareAthon! on Sept. 30. This campaign encourages the nation to conduct drills, discussions and exercises to practice what to do before, during and after a disaster or emergency strikes.