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swr05 Ground-Level Geomagnetically Induced Currents

Convenors: Stefan Lotz (South African National Space Agency) and Gemma Richardson (British Geological Survey)

GICs flow when solar activity drives geomagnetic variations, which in turn induce electric fields at ground level, resulting in the induction of currents in grounded conductor networks. These networks include power grids, rail, pipelines and communications. GIC research sits at the intersection of space physics, geophysics, systems engineering, and the policy and insurance considerations that govern each network.
These networks underpin many forms of critical infrastructure, and society’s reliance on these systems ensures our continued vulnerability to adverse space weather. Recent declarations by regulators in the USA (and elsewhere) also highlight the role of research in the mitigation of GIC-related damage to power grid infrastructure.

Notwithstanding that, most intense GIC activity is usually seen at auroral latitudes, mitigation measures are required for vulnerable technologies in the more densely populated middle and low latitude regions. Consequently, there has been an increase in GIC research in such regions across the world.

We invite poster and oral contributions that demonstrate recent advances in the understanding of the space weather impact on grounded conductor networks. Contributions on solid Earth and space environment models, which quantify how space weather, rapid magnetic variations, sub-surface conductivity and surface electric fields impact ground-level conducting infrastructures are welcomed. We also welcome research results on physical understanding of electromagnetic fields and currents in near Earth space and the upper atmosphere, and how these couple to geo-electromagnetic processes on the ground.

The session will especially focus on:

  • GICs in middle and low latitude locations;
  • GICs in systems other than power grids;
  • Extreme event analysis and GIC risk planning for solar cycle 25
  • Better nowcasting and forecasting of space weather impacts on ground-based systems

All contributors are encouraged to discuss and demonstrate potential applications of their research results, including relevance to industry and mitigation strategies.