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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 Helpdesk

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" section header. 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.

In the tab Products under "Earth magnetosphere" the product Auroral Zone (AZ) activity index shows the magnetic activity from the horizontal components of the magnetic vector field. The index is constructed such that it measures the average deviation of the horizontal field component from its normal value.

The products under “Earth atmosphere and geomagnetic environment” is a collection of products characterizing the Local External Magnetic Field on Ground and the Local Geomagnetic Induced Geoelectric Field.

The products tailored for the pipeline operators mainly focus on the rate of change in the magnetic field and geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) and can be found in the category Local Geomagnetic Induced Geoelectric Field. GIC are determined by using near real-time ground magnetic field recordings and models of specific conductor systems. As the regional measure in Finland and Norway, 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.

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.

For UK the following products related to the service are provided by The British Geological Survey (BGS):

  • The geomagnetic activity alert
  • Peak and average GIC
  • The GIC index BGIC
  • Peak and Average Pipe-to-Soil Potential (PSP) East Scotland Gas Pipeline

For Northern Europe and Greenland the following products are provided by the Technical Univesity of Denmark (DTU):

  • GIC indicator plots (dB/dt)
  • A collection of magnetogrammes covering North Europe and Greenland.

For Spain and the surrounding area, the following products are provided by University of Alcalá (UAH):

  • The Local Current index for Spain, which provides an indication of regional geoloeletric disturbances that can be used as proxy for GICs. This product is connected to a colour-coded scale that facilitates the communication of the results in terms of levels of disturbance.
  • Users can also subscribe for geomagnetic disturbance alerts and regional reports via the University of Alcalá (UAH) product link.

For Finland and part for Norway, the following products are provided by the Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI):

  • Maps for power and pipeline operators showing estimated GIC, E-fields, dB/dt and B in European model grid as well as user specified grid. Tailored service for specific users providing a table of modelled GIC values for the Finnish and Norwegian power grids users network in the last minute and peak GIC in the last 60 mins.
  • Pipe-to-soil voltage (PSV) are calculated from the recent geomagnetic field recordings, ground conductivity model and pipeline model. The modelled pipe-to-soil voltage does not take into account the effect of the corrosion protection system.

In addition to the specific products directed towards the power systems operators, the following products is available within this service:

  • 3-hourly Telluric index
  • Horizontal electric field data
  • Horizontal magnetic rate of change

These are derived from the measurements of three magnetic observatories in UK and provided by British Geological Survey as well as a collection of magnetogrammes covering North Europe and Greenland provided by the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

The products for interplanetary medium at L1 give forecasts and real-time data for solar wind properties, such as the forecast of solar wind high-speed - empirical solar wind speed forecast.

Interplanetary medium at L1

Interplanetary Magnetic Field (IMF)
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1
  • IMF Index Nowcast 1-hour
     FORIND
  • IMF Index Nowcast 1-minute
     FORIND
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Solar Wind Bulk Velocity
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil + Ensemble)
  • Empirical solar wind speed forecast
     ESWF
  • Empirical solar wind speed forecast
     ESWF24
  • Solar wind speed forecast (STEREO-A persistence model)
     STA+CH
  • AWARE_NEXT Enhanced 24 hour solar wind forecast
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1
  • SIDC Daily space weather bulletin archive
  • SIDC Latest daily space weather bulletin
Solar Wind Bulk Density
  • Near-Earth solar wind forecasts (WSA-Enlil + Ensemble)
  • Near-Earth NRT solar wind (DSCOVR)
     SW/L1

Earth magnetosphere

AZ index
AZ index, long term variation
Local geomagnetic forecast

Earth atmosphere and geomagnetic environment

Local External Magnetic Field on Ground
  • Horizontal magnetic rate of change (UK)
     BGS
  • dMag/dt
  • Magnetogrammes from North(West) Europe and Greenland
  • Forecasts of dB/dt
     IRF
  • LDiñ
     UAH
  • LCiñ
     UAH
Local Geomagnetic Induced Geoelectric Field
  • Maps for power and pipeline operators
     FMI
  • Table of modelled GIC
     FMI
  • Pipe-to-soil voltage (PSV)
     FMI
  • Horizontal electric field data (UK)
     BGS
  • Peak Geomagnetically Induced Current (GIC) for Scotland, England, Wales
     BGS
  • Average Geomagnetically Induced Current (GIC) for Scotland, England, Wales
     BGS
  • Peak Pipe-to-Soil Potential (PSP) East Scotland Gas Pipeline
     BGS
  • Average Pipe-to-Soil Potential (PSP) East Scotland Gas Pipeline
     BGS
  • 3-hourly Telluric index (Lerwick, Eskdalemuir, Hartland)
     BGS
  • GIC Index, Bgic for the UK
     BGS

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.

The following alert is associated with this service:

Geomagnetic Storm Onset

UAH-SWE Subscription

 UAH

No preview available

Sentinel G

 UAH

No preview available

Sentinel C

 UAH

No preview available

UAH-SWE Report

 UAH

No preview available

SolarHeed

 UAH

No preview available

Geomagnetic activity alert

 BGS

No preview available

SIDC Human moderated alerts archive

No preview available

SIDC Latest human moderated alert

No preview available

This section provides links to web pages or resources that are not part of the S2P 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

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