Skip to main content

Geomagnetically Induced Currents from the Sun to the Power Grid





Geomagnetically Induced Currents from the Sun to the Power Grid

Jennifer Gannon (Editor), Andrei Swidinsky (Editor), Zonghua Xu (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-119-43434-4 December 2019 American Geophysical Union 256 Pages



An introduction to geomagnetic storms and the hazards they pose at the Earth’s surface 

Geomagnetic storms are a type of space weather event that can create Geomagnetically Induced Currents (GICs) which, once they reach Earth’s surface, can interfere with power grids and transport infrastructure. Understanding the characteristics and impacts of GICs requires scientific insights from solar physics, magnetospheric physics, aeronomy, and ionospheric physics, as well as geophysics and power engineering.

Geomagnetically Induced Currents from the Sun to the Power Grid is a practical introduction for researchers and practitioners that provides tools and techniques from across these disciplines.  

Volume highlights include:

  • Analysis of causes of geomagnetic storms that create GICs
  • Data and methods used to analyze and forecast GIC hazard
  • GIC impacts on the infrastructure of the bulk power system
  • Analysis techniques used in different areas of GIC research
  • New methods to validate and predict GICs in transmission systems


Section I: Space Weather

1. Events on the Sun: Coronal mass ejections are large events
Phil Erickson (invited)

2. The geo-effective solar wind drivers of ground-level GIC
Alysha Renard or George Millward

3. Magnetospheric Disturbances and the external drivers of electric field hotspots
Jennifer Gannon

4. The contribution of the auroral electrojet to high latitude GIC
Tomoko Matsuo or Tim Fuller-Rowell

Section II: Geophysics

5. Geological Features of the United States
Peter Fernberg

6. The status of continental scale 3D electrical conductivity model of North America, and its role in protecting the electric power grid from GIC events
Anna Kelbert (USGS)

7. MT processing of storm time series
Gary Egbert or Alan Chave

8. Effects of geologic and space weather variability on storm-time electric fields
Stephen Cuttler / Andrei Swidinsky (CSM)

Section III: Surface Fields

9. Community coordinated ground-based magnetometer observations and their use in magnetoseismology research
Peter Chi (UCLA)

10. MHD models of B and their use in GIC estimates
Dan Welling (invited)

11. Empirical models of dB/dt and the accuracy of spectral content on GIC calculations
Daniel Weimer or Zhonghua Xu

12. Interpolating Geomagnetic Observations: Comparisons and Techniques
Josh Rigler (USGS)

Section IV: Power System Impacts

13. Electric field model validation from GIC measurements
Mark Butala (UIUC)

14. The types of impacts: transformer heating and half cycle saturation  
Komal Shetye or Tom Overbye

15. Recovery and response costs: the potential impact on US economy
Kevin Forbes or Lisa Winter

16. Mitigating Power System response to GIC in known networks
Maryam Kazerooni (UIUC, TAMU)

17. Industry perspective: what’s needed for GIC operations
David Bertagnolli (invited)

Section V: Extreme Storm Scenarios

18. The extreme storm near-miss of 2012
Dan Baker

19. Extreme events in the UK power grid
Alan Thompson (invited)