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The role of tectonic plate thickness and mantle conductance in determining regional vulnerability to extreme space weather events: possible enhancement of magnetic source fields by secondary induction in the asthenosphere

The role of tectonic plate thickness and mantle conductance in determining regional vulnerability to extreme space weather events: possible enhancement of magnetic source fields by secondary induction in the asthenosphere
The role of tectonic plate thickness and mantle conductance in determining regional vulnerability to extreme space weather events: possible enhancement of magnetic source fields by secondary induction in the asthenosphere
During magnetic storms, solar‐magnetosphere‐ionosphere‐Earth interactions give rise to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) in man‐made technological conductors such as power grids, gas pipelines and transport networks with potentially damaging outcomes. Generally, electrically conductive regions of the Earth are assumed to be less at risk to GICs than resistive ones, since induced electric fields associated with GICs are linearly related to given magnetic source fields via Earth’s impedance. Here, we show that magnetic source fields associated with storms can be enhanced by secondary electromagnetic (EM) induction in Earth’s electrically conductive asthenosphere and that this previously neglected effect can give rise to larger electric fields close to the lithosphere‐asthenosphere boundary in regions where the conductance of the asthenosphere is higher. Our analysis of data from the 30th October 2003 “Halloween” and 8th September 2017 storms shows that the magnitudes of electric fields from both storms are affected by lithospheric plate thickness and asthenosphere conductance (conductivity‐thickness product) and that they are 5 times larger in southern Sweden (> 5 V/km for the 30th October 2003 “Halloween” storm) than in central Scotland. Our results provide insight into why Sweden experienced a storm‐related power outage in 2003, whereas Scotland didn’t.
1542-7390
Simpson, Fiona
98408e5e-6c71-42b7-9425-fa31d094b277
Bahr, Karsten
bff64fd0-24a1-4706-8344-c1b17a55c9bc
Simpson, Fiona
98408e5e-6c71-42b7-9425-fa31d094b277
Bahr, Karsten
bff64fd0-24a1-4706-8344-c1b17a55c9bc

Simpson, Fiona and Bahr, Karsten (2020) The role of tectonic plate thickness and mantle conductance in determining regional vulnerability to extreme space weather events: possible enhancement of magnetic source fields by secondary induction in the asthenosphere. Space Weather, 18 (12), [e2020SW002587]. (doi:10.1029/2020SW002587).

Record type: Article

Abstract

During magnetic storms, solar‐magnetosphere‐ionosphere‐Earth interactions give rise to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) in man‐made technological conductors such as power grids, gas pipelines and transport networks with potentially damaging outcomes. Generally, electrically conductive regions of the Earth are assumed to be less at risk to GICs than resistive ones, since induced electric fields associated with GICs are linearly related to given magnetic source fields via Earth’s impedance. Here, we show that magnetic source fields associated with storms can be enhanced by secondary electromagnetic (EM) induction in Earth’s electrically conductive asthenosphere and that this previously neglected effect can give rise to larger electric fields close to the lithosphere‐asthenosphere boundary in regions where the conductance of the asthenosphere is higher. Our analysis of data from the 30th October 2003 “Halloween” and 8th September 2017 storms shows that the magnitudes of electric fields from both storms are affected by lithospheric plate thickness and asthenosphere conductance (conductivity‐thickness product) and that they are 5 times larger in southern Sweden (> 5 V/km for the 30th October 2003 “Halloween” storm) than in central Scotland. Our results provide insight into why Sweden experienced a storm‐related power outage in 2003, whereas Scotland didn’t.

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Accepted/In Press date: 2 November 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 9 November 2020
Published date: December 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 445171
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/445171
ISSN: 1542-7390
PURE UUID: 43256d57-0f0b-48d5-8b7d-4959802ac2b8

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Date deposited: 24 Nov 2020 17:32
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 23:07

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Contributors

Author: Fiona Simpson
Author: Karsten Bahr

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