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New 3D Measurements Enhance Understanding of Geomagnetic Storm Hazards

For more information about the effects of geomagnetic storms, please visit the USGS Geomagnetism Program website.

Source & Credit: U.S. Geological Survey, NASA.
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Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of Earth, instead of the one-dimensional models commonly utilized, can help researchers all the more precisely figure out which territories of the United States are most defenseless against power outages amid hazardous geomagnetic storms

Space climate occasions, for example, geomagnetic storms can irritate Earth’s attractive field, meddling with electric power lattices, radio correspondence, GPS frameworks, satellite tasks, oil and gas boring and air travel. Researchers utilize models of Earth’s structure and measurements of Earth’s attractive field taken at USGS observatories to figure out which areas of the electrical matrix may lose control amid a geomagnetic storm.


In another U.S. Topographical Survey, researchers figured voltages along electrical cables in the mid-Atlantic district of the U.S. utilizing 3D information of Earth. This information, taken at Earth’s surface, mirror the perplexing structure of Earth underneath the estimation destinations and were gathered amid the National Science Foundation EarthScope USArray venture. The researchers found that for some areas, the voltages they ascertained were fundamentally not the same as those in view of past 1D estimations, with the 3D information delivering the most exact outcomes.

Greg Lucas USGS scientist and the lead author of the study.

Using the most accurate data available to determine vulnerable areas of the power grid can help maintain life-saving communications and protect national security during severe geomagnetic storms. Our study suggests that 3D data of the earth should be used whenever they are available.


Electric streams from a March 1989 geomagnetic storm caused a power outage in Quebec and various glitches in the U.S. control framework. In past examinations, researchers utilizing straightforward 1D models of Earth would have discovered that 16 high-voltage electrical transmission lines were aggravated in the mid-Atlantic area amid the tempest, bringing about the power outage. Notwithstanding, by utilizing reasonable 3D information to figure the 1989 situation, the new investigation found that there might have really been 62 powerless lines., BA

Source / Journal U.S. Geological Survey USGS Geomagnetism Program
Via / Provided by: ScienceDaily

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