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ESA SSA SWE Service Page Mockup: NSO/ppl

Non-Space System Operation - Service to pipeline operators


Current image from the product dB/dt forecast.
30-minute maximum forecast for
the rate of change of the magnetic field.

Geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) in technological systems are caused by rapid variations of the geomagnetic field (dB⁄dt) which are always associated with a geoelectric field driving currents in electric conductors. They can disturb the normal operation of pipelines by creating fluctuations in corrosion protection voltages and in the long term by possibly increasing the corrosion rate of the pipeline steel. Real-time monitoring of GIC can be based on ground magnetic field recordings from which GIC can be modelled. Short-term forecasts can be based on the estimated rate of change of the geomagnetic field (dB⁄dt), which provides a proxy for GIC.

The purpose of this service is to give a general overview of GIC and pipe-to-soil voltage (PSV) activity.

This service is implemented through a combination of products, tools and alerts which can be found through the following tabs along with expert support provided by the teams constituting the SWE Network. Should you require further guidance in the use of this service, or have specific questions about any aspects of the service presented here, don't hesitate to contact the Helpdesk.

This service page is curated by the ESC Geomagnetic Conditions. For further information, please contact SSCC Help-desk

To assess in detail the magnitude of possible disturbances in pipelines, the products for Local Geoelectric Field include maps for power and pipeline operators. These can be found from the "Products" tab under the "Earth atmosphere and geomagnetic environment" tab. The products include also a table of modelled ground induced current (GIC) and the pipe-to-soil voltage (PSV). At the moment, the coverage of the PSV is limited to the Finnish natural gas pipeline, and the table of modelled GIC contains information only for Norwegian and Finnish power grids.

The products under "Earth magnetosphere" include a collection of geomagnetic indices provided by Tromsø geophysical observatory (TGO), the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center (SIDC/ROB). These can be used to determine the current geomagnetic conditions. The products under "Interplanetary medium at L1" give forecasts and real-time data for solar wind properties.

GIC are determined by using near real-time ground magnetic field recordings and models of specific conductor systems. As the regional measure, the sum of GIC at all substations of a power grid is used. This value is considered to be large when it exceeds a threshold corresponding to the top 0.1% of all values in long-term statistics. This is indicated in the plots by red colour. GIC in the natural gas pipeline are basically modelled in the same way as in power grids. Its measured value is also shown.

The following quantities are shown on interactive maps for the previous hour: the interpolated ground magnetic field and its rate of change, and the modelled geoelectric field. Additionally, snap shot maps illustrate the time step at which the GIC sum reached its largest value within the latest 24 hours. For the magnetic field, these maps also show measured values. There are specific points to be understood when using this service:

  • The ground conductivity models for calculating the geoelectric field are approximate.
  • However, the use of fixed models of the grids and of the ground conductivity ensures that GIC activity is characterised in a meaningful quantitative way. In other words, if this service indicates a high GIC level in the demo grids then large GIC occur in the true grids too.

Interplanetary medium at L1

Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil)
     SELSWE
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SELSWE
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil)
     SELSWE
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SELSWE
Solar Wind Bulk Density
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil)
     SELSWE
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SELSWE

Earth magnetosphere

Geomagnetic Indices Kp and K
  • Provisional K-indices from Northwest Europe
     TGO
  • Provisional AA indices
  • Quicklook Kp index
     GFZ
  • Most recent definitive Kp index
     GFZ
  • Kp and Ap index on tabular form
     GFZ
  • Kp and Ap index archive
     GFZ
  • Short term (1 hour) Kp forecast
     TGO
Geomagnetic Index Ap and A
  • Kp and Ap index on tabular form
     GFZ
  • Kp and Ap index archive
     GFZ
  • 27 day global forecast issued every 24 hours
     TGO
AZ index
  • Geomagnetic activity index for auroral zone (AZ), last 33 days
     TGO
AZ index, long term variation
  • Geomagnetic activity index for auroral zone (AZ), long term variation
     TGO
Local geomagnetic forecast
  • Short term (1 hour) local geomagnetic forecast
     TGO

Earth atmosphere and geomagnetic environment

Local External Magnetic Field on Ground
  • Magnetogrammes from North(west) Europe and Greenland
     TGO
  • Forecasts of dB/dt
     IRF
Local Geomagnetic Induced Geoelectric Field
  • Maps for power and pipeline operators
     FMI
  • Table of modelled GIC
     FMI
  • Pipe-to-soil voltage (PSV)
     FMI

SWE Data is a web application that provides access to a wide range of Space Weather related data sources covering the areas of the spacecraft, ionospheric, and ground effects. SWE Data allows the user to access all data contained in the repository providing analysis and visualisation tools from these disparate sources.

No alerts are associated with this service.

This section provides links to web pages or resources that are not part of the SSA Space Weather Network or esa.int domain. These sites are not under ESA control, and therefore ESA is not responsible for any of the information or links that you may find there.  

Reference documents