13 Responses to USGS monitors Earth’s magnetic field to prepare citizens for magnetic storms

  1. luisport says:

    Earthquake swarm in Katla volcano caldera
    Posted on January 30, 2012 by Jón Frímann
    This morning there was an earthquake swarm in Katla volcano. This is the first earthquake swarm of the year 2012. This earthquake swarm is most likely created by an dike intrusion. Based on how dense the earthquake swarm appears to be. But that is often an sign of an dike intrusion in an volcano. How this earthquake swarm is going to evolve over the next few hours impossible to know for sure. That depends on what the magma is going to do that is creating this earthquake swarm.
    The earthquakes can be seen on my geophone web page here (English). The geophone at Skeiðflöt is going to go up this week. So all activity in Katla volcano is going to appear more clearly following that. Sadly. No high resolution of the earthquakes that take place is not going to be available until I move back to Denmark. As my main earthquake computer is offline and is going to be so until that time.

    I am going to post updates to this if anything more happens. But it might take a while as I am travelling today to Reykjavík area and tomorrow I am going to Skeiðflöt tomorrow.


  2. nanoduck says:

    Not to mention, these solar storms can cripple nuclear reactors and leave them vunerable to melt downs. They are supposed to have back-up power but they are limited.


    • Irene C says:

      Fascinating article. Thank you. The one question I have is, how much worse would the effect be for someone who is flying? Although I don’t travel by air anymore, I would think there is less protection the higher up one is. Or are the planes protected somehow?



    • Louise says:

      Thanks for posting!


  3. Thera says:

    “Magnetic storms, said Love,…………. but also sometimes for the disruption of technology and infrastructure our modern society depends on. (They’re preparing in the event the system crashes/goes down)

    Helicopters To Buzz Downtown LA In Urban Warfare Drill (Drill has already been preformed)

    This may not mean much to many of you but now I, (somewhat) understand why, (last week) Joint military training exercises involving helicopters are being conducted in downtown LA all this week through Thursday with the police providing support, according to a statement issued by the LAPD

    NOTE* The exercise is yet another in a spate of recent military drills to hit heavily populated areas throughout the country.


  4. Thera says:

    Apologies forgot to leave link to article.

    Helicopters To Buzz Downtown LA In Urban Warfare Drill


  5. Carla Burgers says:

    Thanks luisport, fantastic article. Keep safe.


  6. Tim says:

    Some good educational material on the space weather subject and its effects on our modern society.

    NASA – Severe Space Weather–Social and Economic Impacts

    Computer model study showing electrical systems that might be affected by a geomagnetic storm equivalent to the May 14-15, 1921 event. The regions outlined by the heavy black lines are susceptible to system collapse lasting months or years. A population in excess of 130 million might be affected, at a cost of $1-2 trillion in the first year after the event. The network of thin black lines shows the location of the nearly 80,000 miles long-distance heavy-hauling 345kV, 500kV and 765kV transmission lines in the U.S.–the main arteries of the U.S. electrical grid. The circles indicate magnitudes of geomagnetically-induced current (GIC) flow at each transformer in the network, and the color of the circle indicates the polarity of the current. http://science.nasa.gov/media/medialibrary/2009/01/21/21jan_severespaceweather_resources/collapse.jpg

    State by state map

    1989 Event – “A contemporary repetition of the Carrington Event would cause … extensive social and economic disruptions,” the report warns. Power outages would be accompanied by radio blackouts and satellite malfunctions; telecommunications, GPS navigation, banking and finance, and transportation would all be affected. Some problems would correct themselves with the fading of the storm: radio and GPS transmissions could come back online fairly quickly. Other problems would be lasting: a burnt-out multi-ton transformer, for instance, can take weeks or months to repair. The total economic impact in the first year alone could reach $2 trillion, some 20 times greater than the costs of a Hurricane Katrina”

    A map of North America showing the various electrical service problems recorded during the March 13 1989 storm. Caused a voltage depression on the Hydro-Quebec power system in Canada. The failure of the equipment caused a generation loss of 9,450 MW. With a load of about 21,350 MW, the system was unable to withstand the generation loss and collapsed within seconds. The province of Quebec was blacked out for approximately 9 hours.
    Also during this storm, a large step-up transformer failed at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant in New Jersey. That failure was the most severe of approximately 200 separate events that were reported during the storm on the North American power system. Other events ranged from generators tripping out of service, to voltage swings at major substations, to other lesser equipment failures.

    Blackout Warning Map

    A web of interdependencies makes the modern economy especially sensitive to solar storms. Source: Dept. of Homeland Security.

    NOAA Space Weather Scale for Geomagnetic Storms, NOAA Space Weather Scale for Solar Radiation Storms, NOAA Space Weather Scale for Radio Blackouts

    Severe Space Weather Events–Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts: A Workshop Report (2008)


  7. Bama Lori says:

    From a very recent study I found: “Geomagnetic storms can be categorized as a global shock for several reasons: the effects of an extreme storm will be felt on multiple continents; the resulting damage to electric power transmission will require international cooperation to address; and the economic costs of a lengthy power outage will affect economies around the world. As a global shock event, a severe geomagnetic storm, although unlikely, could lead to major consequences for OECD governments. A variety of possible future socioeconomic shifts would impact the risk posed by extreme geomagnetic storms. As previously discussed, extreme geomagnetic storms would result in first-order disruptions to eight critical infrastructure sectors and sub-sectors:
    1. Energy (Electric Power)
    2. Communications (Satellite)
    3. Communications (Wireline)
    4. Information Technology
    5. Transportation (Aviation)
    6. Transportation (Mass Transit)
    7. Transportation (Rail)
    8. Transportation (Pipeline)”
    From this PDF: http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/57/25/46891645.pdf


  8. Tim says:

    NASA: 2012 may bring dangerous solar superstorms
    “We know it is coming but we don’t know how bad it is going to be,” Dr Richard Fisher, the director of NASA’s Heliophysics division, said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “It will disrupt communication devices such as satellites and car navigation, air travel, the banking system, our computers, everything that is electronic. It will cause major problems for the world. “


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