Observations from SANSA’s geomagnetic network during the Saint Patrick’s Day storm of 17–18 March 2015

Keywords: geomagnetic variations, geomagnetic storms, geomagnetically induced currents

Abstract

Geomagnetic storms are space weather events that result in a temporary disturbance of the earth’s magnetosphere caused by a solar wind that interacts with the earth’s magnetic field. We examined more closely how some southern African magnetic observatories responded to the Saint Patrick’s Day storm using local K-indices. We show how this network of observatories may be utilised to model induced electric field, which is useful for the monitoring of geomagnetically induced anomalous currents capable of damaging power distribution infrastructure. We show an example of the correlation between a modelled induced electric field and measured geomagnetically induced currents in southern Africa. The data show that there are differences between global and local indices, which vary with the phases of the storm. We show the latitude dependence of geomagnetic activity and demonstrate that the direction of the variation is different for the X and Y components.


Significance:

  • The importance of ground-based data in space weather studies is demonstrated.
  • We show how SANSA’s geomagnetic network may be utilised to model induced electric field, which is useful for the monitoring of geomagnetically induced anomalous currents capable of damaging power distribution infrastructure.

Open data set

http://www.intermagnet.org/data-donnee/download-eng.php

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Published
2019-01-30