Modeling the geomagnetic response to the September 2017 space weather event over Fennoscandia using the Space Weather Modeling Framework: Studying the impacts of spatial resolution

A. P. Dimmock, D. T. Welling, L. Rosenqvist, C. Forsyth, M. P. Freeman, Jonathan Rae, A. Viljanen, E. Vandegriff, R. J. Boynton, M. A. Balikhin, E. Yordanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We must be able to predict and mitigate against GIC effects to minimize socio- economic impacts. This study employs the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF) to model the geomagnetic response over Fennoscandia to the 7-8 September 2017 event. Of key importance to this study is the effects of spatial resolution in terms of regional forecasts and improved GIC modeling results. Therefore, we ran the model at comparatively low, medium, and high spatial resolutions. The virtual magnetometers from each model run are compared with observations from the IMAGE magnetometer network across various latitudes and over regional-scales. The virtual magnetometer data from the SWMF are coupled with a local ground conductivity model which is used to calculate the geo-electric field and estimate GICs in a Finnish natural gas pipeline. This investigation has lead to several important results in which higher resolution yielded: 1) more realistic amplitudes and timings of GICs, 2) higher amplitude geomagnetic disturbances across latitudes, and 3) increased regional variations in terms of differences between stations. Despite this, substorms remain a significant challenge to surface magnetic field prediction from global MHD modeling. For example, in the presence of multiple large substorms, the associated large-amplitude depressions were not captured, which caused the largest model-data deviations. The results from this work are of key importance to both modelers and space weather operators. Particularly when the goal is to obtain improved regional forecasts of geomagnetic disturbances and/or more realistic estimates of the geo-electric field.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2020SW002683
JournalSpace Weather
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 Apr 2021

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