240 The Geomagnetically Induced Currents at the Equator Associated with Interplanetary Shocks

Monday, 23 January 2017
4E (Washington State Convention Center )
ENDAWOKE YIZENGAW, Boston College, Boston, MA; and B. Carter

The arrival of interplanetary shocks drives magnetosphere and ionosphere current systems, which then can cause magnetic field variability at ground. The strength of these currents can be detected by the time derivation of the magnetometer observation (dB/dt) on the ground. The stronger dB/dt magnetic spikes at the arrival of interplanetary shocks may be able to cause significant geomagnetically induced currents (GIC) and electric fields that may have damaging effects on modern ground-based technological infrastructures. Although significant attention has been given to the impact of GICs at high-latitude regions, mainly in the auroral region where it gets amplified by the auroral electroject (AE), its impact at the geomagnetic equator has been largely overlooked until recently. It is well known that the interplanetary shocks-driven magnetopause current penetrates into the inner-magnetosphere and almost instantaneously extends down to the equatorial ionosphere through the TM0 (zero order transverse magnetic) mode waves in the Earth-ionosphere waveguide. These currents, which get amplified by the equatorial electroject (EEJ) in the same way the AE does to it, can cause bursts of GIC onto the power lines that are located in the vicinity of geomagnetic equator. Importantly, there are many cases in which interplanetary shocks that drive strong magnetopause currents sometimes do not cause geomagnetic storms and are followed by completely quiet conditions. This indicates that significant GIC can occur at high and equatorial regions not only during geomagnetic storm time but also during geomagnetically quiet periods. In this paper, using ground- and space-based observations, we demonstrate that the interplanetary shocks driven GIC bursts have potential effects at the equatorial region both during geomagnetically quiet and storm periods.
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