FG: Understanding the causes of geomagnetic disturbances in geospace for hazard analysis on geomagnetically induced currents

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Focus Group Chairs

Xueling Shi, Virginia Tech (xueling7@vt.edu)

Dogacan Su Ozturk, University of Alaska Fairbanks (dsozturk@alaska.edu)

Mark Engebretson, Augsburg University (engebret@augsburg.edu)

Zhonghua Xu, Virginia Tech (zxu77@vt.edu)

Erin Joshua Rigler, USGS (erigler@usgs.gov)


Geomagnetic disturbances (GMDs) related to various phenomena in the near-Earth space environment can induce geoelectric fields within the electrically conducting Earth. In turn these geoelectric fields drive electric currents that can flow through technological infrastructure in the form of geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) and cause potential damage to power grid, pipelines, and submarine cables. Our focus group (FG) aims to improve the physical understanding of the causes of GMDs through observations, numerical simulations, and machine learning techniques in the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-ground coupled system for hazard analysis on GICs. Understanding the causes of GMDs is crucial in the development and validation of models which aim to accurately and reliably predict the variations of geoelectric fields and GICs and are objectives of the National Space Weather Strategy and Action Plan (NSWSAP, 2019).

Topic Description

Geomagnetic disturbances (GMDs) have long been used to derive global geomagnetic activity indices (e.g., Kp, AE, and Dst), remote sense the magnetosphere-ionosphere (M-I) currents and plasma waves, and as inputs to geoelectric field/GIC models. The sources of GMDs are directly related to various M-I currents and plasma waves which can be attributed to various drivers in the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-ground coupled system. Despite extensive research, questions still remain regarding the common sources and driving mechanisms of GMDs. Many studies have focused on the association of GMDs with large-scale geomagnetic activity including storms and substorms. Several more recent statistical studies have analyzed the association of nighttime GMDs with global inputs (IMF and solar wind) and geomagnetic indices (e.g., Engebretson et al., 2021a, 2021b), and case studies have focused on more local phenomena such as overhead ionospheric currents and auroras (Belakhovsky et al., 2019, Dimmock et al., 2019, Apatenkov et al., 2020; and Weygand et al., 2021). The M-I currents that drive nighttime GMDs appear to be linked to mesoscale disturbances in the magnetotail, and their association with substorms and/or intervals of negative IMF Bz suggest the influence of magnetotail reconnection. Up to now, however, there have been very few reports connecting nighttime GMD events to specific disturbances in the magnetotail.

In addition, direct geoelectric field measurements are very limited and GIC measurements are usually not publicly available, many studies rely on dB/dt or ∆B as a proxy. However, it is still not yet well understood whether dB/dt or ∆B is a good proxy of GICs or under what conditions GMDs will couple to extreme geoelectric fields and GICs. Therefore, an interdisciplinary community-wide effort involving the space science data analysis, space weather modelling, magnetotelluric (MT), and the power system engineering communities, is needed to advance our understanding of the causes of GMDs and hazardous GICs. We propose an FG to address the following questions:

Q1: What are the drivers of the formation and evolution of space weather significant GMDs?

Q2: To what extent can different models predict GMDs and what are immediate missing components to improve GMD prediction?

Q3: What is the most important input the GEM community could provide to those who study geoelectric fields and GICs?

Focus Group Proposal

GMD-GIC (2022)

2023 mini-GEM Workshop

The 2023 mini-GEM workshop will be held on Dec 10 at the Holiday Inn San Francisco – Golden Gateway in San Francisco, CA. This will be an in-person meeting with a virtual component, ensuring accessibility for a broader audience. Please join the meeting via the Zoom link, Meeting ID: 899 8928 4257, Passcode: 095107. If you'd like to be added to the group to hear more about future FG activities, please sign up here.

Are you interested in contributing to future GIC FG activities and sharing your insights on GEM GMD-GIC modeling challenges? Your response will help us determine the level of community interest and plan accordingly. We appreciate your engagement and look forward to your feedback here.

1. GIC stand-alone session, Sunday, 10 December, 13:45-15:15 US Pacific Time, Gold Rush A room

The stand-alone GIC session will focus on discussion of modeling efforts (numerical, MHD, and machine learning models) on ground magnetic field perturbations. Short talks (1-slide < 5 min) are encouraged, linked to potential datasets/events for future modeling challenges or techniques/methods to enhance modeling of geomagnetic/geoelectric field perturbations. We eagerly anticipate an open discussion to explore challenges and recent advancements in GMD-GIC modeling, building on the legacy of the GEM 2008-2009 Challenge on ground magnetic field perturbations.

  • Xueling Shi/Dogacan Ozturk: FG Introduction
  • Kareem Sorathia: Modeling GMDs with MAGE: Recent Work and Future Plans
  • Erik Vandegriff: Predicting Localized GMDs in the SWMF: Performance Assessment and Suggested Improvements
  • Banafsheh Ferdousi: OPEN-GGCM and FDL-X GMD modelling updates
  • Adrian LaMoury: Operational space weather forecasting with the GorgonOps simulation suite
  • Howard Singer: A regional predictive geoelectric field model prototype
  • Andong Hu: 10-60 mins ahead geoelectric field prediction model
  • Matthew Blandin: Gridded Matrix Solution of Solar Wind Driven and Magnetic Local Time Dependent Machine Learned Neural Networks for Global Geomagnetic Field Predictions
  • Mark Engebretson: Observations of Nighttime Geomagnetic Disturbances (GMDs) Related to Dipolarizing Flux Bundles (DFBs)
  • Denny Oliveira: First observations of shock impact angle effects on real GICs measured at the natural gas pipeline in Mäntsälä, southern Finland
  • Jeffrey J Love: March 1940 superstorm
  • Dogacan Ozturk: Using semi-/self-supervised classification of auroral images for GMD research
  • Jesper Gjerloev/Ying Zou: An Extreme Auroral Electrojet Spike during 2023 April 24th Storm
  • Open Discussion

2. GBMA-GIC joint session, Sunday, 10 December, 15:30-17:00 US Pacific Time, Gold Rush A room

The GEM GIC focus group and US magnetometer group will have a joint session at the 2023 mini-GEM workshop. The session will begin with an introduction to both groups and a summary of recent activities, followed by updates from NSF and discussion of international collaborations involving ground magnetometers including International Polar Year. The rest of the session will be for SuperMAG updates, discussion of ground magnetometer campaigns with satellite missions (SMILE, GDC, EZE,…), and data sharing.

  • 1530-1535 - Mike Hartinger and Xueling Shi, GMAG board overview / Planned GIC FG activities
  • 1535-1545 - Chia-Lin Huang, NSF updates
  • 1545-1550 - Zhonghua Xu, Recap from GEOSCOPR workshop (Vladimir Papitashvili also available for Q+A)
  • 1550-1555 - Zhonghua Xu and Mike Hartinger, Early plans for ground magnetometers in the International Polar Year: IASC feedback
  • 1555-1600 - Lucilla Alfonsi (presented by Mike Hartinger), International Collaboration - SCAR AGATA
  • 1600-1610 - Discussion
  • 1610-1615 - Jesper Gjerloev, SuperMAG update
  • 1615-1620 - Jesper Gjerloev, EZIE mission coordination with ground-based measurements, including magnetometers
  • 1620-1625 - Bea Gallardo-Lacourt, GDC mission coordination with ground-based measurements, including magnetometers
  • 1625-1630 - Jennifer Carter, SMILE mission coordination with ground-based measurements, including magnetometers
  • 1630-1635 - Jennifer Carter and Maria-Theresia Walach, SMILE mission winter campaign planning
  • 1635-1640 - Alexander Drozdov, Accessing Magnetometers from Seismology Databases via SPEDAS software
  • 1640-1700 - General Q+A and discussion

2023 GEM Summer Workshop

The 2023 GEM meeting will be held on June 11 – 16, 2023 in San Diego, CA at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside hotel. A virtual component will be accommodated via Zoom. We will have three sessions in total this year. If you'd like to be added to the google group to hear more about future FG activities, please sign up here.

1. GIC stand-alone session, Wednesday, 14 June, 10:30-12:00 PT, Room Pacific B

The stand-alone session will be focused on modeling of GMD, geoelectric fields, and GICs.

Xueling Shi: FG Introduction

Louis Lanzerotti (invited): GIC Studies on AT&T Cables Over 25 Years,1972-2001

Christopher Balch (invited): NOAA's geoelectric field model

Krishnat Patil (invited): Bulk Electric Power System GMD Analysis using PSS®E

Michael Hartinger: SCUBAS: A python based numerical model to estimate electrical surges in submarine cables during geomagnetic disturbances

Kareem Sorathia: Global Modeling of Multiscale Stormtime Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling

Yue Deng: Ground Magnetic Disturbances due to Neutral-wind-driven Ionospheric Currents

Banafsheh Ferdousi: Global Geomagnetic Perturbation Forecasting Using Deep Learning

James Weygand: GICs from the spherical elementary current systems method

Open discussion on modeling challenges.

2. GBMA-GIC joint session, Wednesday, 14 June, 13:30-15:00 PT, Room Pacific A

The GEM GIC focus group and US magnetometer group will have a joint session at the 2023 GEM workshop.

  • 1330-1335 - Mike Hartinger, Overview of the US Ground Magnetometer Group and Recent Updates
  • 1335-1345 - Chia-Lin Huang, NSF updates
  • 1345-1350 - Jesper Gjerloev, SuperMAG updates
  • 1350-1355 - Peter Chi, ULTIMA updates
  • 1355-1400 - Discussion
  • 1400-1405 - Peter Chi, SMART network updates
  • 1405-1410 - Doga Ozturk, UAF SWUG Data Center
  • 1410-1415 - Zhonghua Xu, AALPIP network update
  • 1415-1420 - Hyomin Kim, NJIT update Antarctic geospace measurements
  • 1420-1425 - Mark Engebretson (virtual), MACCS network update and relevance to GDC/SMILE
  • 1425-1430 - Josh Rigler (virtual), USGS updates (observatories and variometers)
  • 1430-1500 - General Q+A and discussion

3. IHMIC-GIC-MPEC joint session, Thursday, 15 June, 10:30-12:00 PT, Room Pacific A

This joint session consists of contributed talks and walk-in talks on poster or research summary.

Dogacan Ozturk: FG Introduction

Mark Engebretson: Solar cycle dependence of extreme GMDs occurrences

Andrew Dimmock: Analysis of the geoelectric fields in Sweden and the link to GICs

Michael Hartinger: ULF Wave Contributions to GIC

Kosta Horaites: Magnetospheric Response to a Pressure Pulse in a Three-dimensional Hybrid-Vlasov Simulation

James Weygand: Mapping DFBs observed by THEMIS to GMDs observed on the ground

Juan Rodriguez-Zuluaga: Unraveling the coherence breakdown of ground-level geomagnetic disturbances

Shin Ohtani: The cause of the 1600 nT Colaba magnetic depression during the 1859 Carrington storm

Karl Laundal: How the ionosphere perturbs Earth’s magnetic field

Xin Cao: The Response of Ionospheric Currents to External Drivers Investigated Using a Neural Network-Based Model

Walk-in talks: 1-slide research summary (can be poster advertisement), Kristina Collins

Open discussion on available resources and potential model challenge events.

2022 mini-GEM Workshop Meeting

The 2022 mini-GEM meeting will be held hybrid via Zoom (https://alaska.zoom.us/j/87956087298?pwd=ZnY2cUExeVFHV0djcmxKOTBUTm9HQT09, Meeting ID: 879 5608 7298, Passcode: 455961). If you'd like to be added to the google group to hear more about future FG activities, please sign up here.

1. GIC-GMAG-IHMIC joint session, Sunday, 11 December, 12:00-13:30 CT, Room Williford B at Hilton Chicago Hotel

The first joint session will be focused on GIC-GMAG-IHMIC interactive discussion and updates from NSF/NASA agency and GMAG network.

Dogacan Ozturk/Xueling Shi: Introduction

Lisa Winter/Jesse Woodroffe: Agency updates

Daniel Welling: GIC SSC

Michael Hartinger: US GMAG board updates

James Weygand: HDRL/DOIs, data sharing

Peter Chi: GMAG network challenges

US GMAG network updates (David Miles)

2. GIC-GMAG joint session, Sunday, 11 December, 13:45-15:15 CT, Room Williford B at Hilton Chicago Hotel

The second joint session consists of contributed talks and follow-up discussions.

Dogacan Ozturk/Xueling Shi: Introduction

Mark Engebretson: Occurrence distributions and morphology of large geomagnetic disturbances observed in Arctic Canada

Michael Madelaire: Transient high latitude geomagnetic response to rapid increases in solar wind dynamic pressure

Cheng Sheng: Ground Magnetic Perturbations due to Neutral-wind Driven Ionospheric Currents

Matthew Blandin: Constructing A Machine Learned Global Geomagnetic Field Prediction Model From Magnetic Local Time Dependent Multi-Layer Perceptron Neural Networks

Hannah Parry: geoelectric field and GIC measurement comparisons

Shibaji Chakraborty: Modeling geomagnetic induction in submarine cables

2022 GEM Workshop Meeting

Monday, 20 June, 1030-1200 US Hawaii Time, GIC-GBMA Joint Session

The GEM GIC focus group and US magnetometer group will have a joint session at the 2022 GEM workshop. The session will begin with an introduction to both groups followed by an invited talk by Dr. Chigomezyo Ngwira on geomagnetically induced currents and geomagnetic disturbances. The remainder of the session will be for discussion of Solar and Space Physics Decadal Survey white papers related to ground magnetometers and short magnetometer network updates.

  • Mike Hartinger, Overview of the US Ground Magnetometer Group
  • Xueling Shi, Overview of the new GEM GIC focus group
  • Chigomezyo Ngwira (invited), Review of Geomagnetic Disturbances and GIC
  • Mike Hartinger, Decadal survey discussions overview, overarching white paper
  • Jesper Gjerloev, Decadal survey white paper
  • All, Discussion of Decadal survey white papers
  • Magnetometer Network/SuperMAG Updates (1-slide each): Jesper Gjerloev (SuperMAG), Shane Coyle (AALPIP), Shane Coyle (GPS Rollover), Michelle Salzano (MICA-S), Hyomin Kim (HamSCI magnetometer), Hyomin Kim (Deep polar cap Antarctic network), Mark Engebretson (MACCS - presenting virtually)

Tuesday, 21 June, 0130-0300 PM US Hawaii Time, GIC Stand-alone Session I

This session will begin with an introduction to the GIC focus group followed by two invited talks and a few contributed talks on observations of GMDs, their potential causes, and education outreach related to magnetometer arrays.

  • Xueling Shi, Introduction
  • Jeffrey Love (invited), Mapping a magnetic superstorm
  • Audrey Schillings (invited), dB/dt spikes during space weather events
  • Mark Engebretson, Review of large amplitude geomagnetic disturbances in eastern Arctic Canada
  • James Weygand, ASI and GOES observations of nighttime magnetic perturbation events observed in Arctic Canada
  • Chigomezyo Ngwira, Analysis of Ground dB/dt Spatiotemporal Variations
  • Austin Cohen, UAF Space Weather UnderGround: Space Weather Research and Education Through Student-built Magnetometer Arrays
  • Jesper Gjerloev, The MagPi magnetometer: Letting everyone listen to the Earth-Space conversation

Tuesday, 21 June, 0330-0500 PM US Hawaii Time, GIC Stand-alone Session II

This session will focus on geomagnetic and geoelectric field modeling and prediction. It begins with an introduction to current activities of the GIC focus group followed by one invited talk and a few contributed talks on GMD and geoelectric field modeling and prediction. We will have interactive discussion in the end on modeling challenges and future activities of this FG.

  • Xueling Shi, Introduction
  • Howard Singer (invited), Geospace to Geoelectric Field Modeling at SWPC: Development, Results, and Challenges
  • Lisa Winter, Sponsored workshop by NSF-NASA-NOAA
  • Shibaji Chakraborty, Modeling Geomagnetic Induction in Submarine Cables
  • Elizabeth Vandegriff, Localized Geomagnetic Disturbances: Exploring Modeling and Forecasting Capabilities in Global MHD
  • Matthew Blandin, Coupled Model Applications for Geomagnetically Induced Currents across Alaska
  • Interactive discussion on modeling challenges.

Friday, 24 June, 1030-1200 US Hawaii Time, IHMIC-GIC Joint Session

  • Mark Engebretson, Observations of conjugate high latitude geomagnetic disturbances that can cause GICs
  • Zhonghua Xu, Inter-hemispheric asymmetries in the ground magnetic ULF wave response to interplanetary shocks at high latitudes-Case Study
  • Hyomin Kim, Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling Studies Using the PSWS Magnetometer Network
  • Bob Lysak, Cavity Mode Structure of Pi2 Pulsations
  • Martin Archer, What are the ionospheric and ground magnetic signatures of global magnetopause surface modes?
  • Simone Di Matteo, Global and local ULF waves in response to solar wind periodic density structures
  • Gabby Nowak, Relationship Between Geomagnetic Field Variations and External Drivers Across Different Latitudes and Hemispheres

Friday, 24 June, 0130-0300 PM US Hawaii Time, GIC-IEMIT Joint Session

  • Jesper Gjerloev, The NASA EZIE mission: New insight into the Earth-Space electrical current circuit.
  • Mike Hartinger, Undersampling of ULF wave fields that drive GIC
  • Xueling Shi, Large geoelectric and geomagnetic perturbations observed after an IMF turning and solar wind dynamic pressure impulse
  • Thomas Elsden, Modelling the Varying Location of Field Line Resonances During Geomagnetic Storms
  • Hannah Parry, Validation of Differential Magnetometer Measurements of GICs on Alberta's High Voltage Network
  • Denny Oliveira, Impact Angle Control of Local Intense dB /dt Variations During Shock-Induced Substorms

Friday, 24 June, 0500 pm US Hawaii Time, Honolulu Magnetic observatory field trip (contact Josh: erigler@usgs.gov and Xueling: xueling7@vt.edu to sign up)