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How Do Rocks React to Outbursts from the Sun?

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Eloise Matthews.

Have you ever seen the northern lights flickering above? Did you know that their source (the solar wind) is interacting with Earth’s magnetic field and can produce strong electrical currents in the ground? These so-called geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) have detrimental effects on many ground-based structures like the high voltage power transmission grid. The amplitude of GICs does depend on the ground electrical conductivity – the rocks beneath our feet! Our modern reliance on technology has made us vulnerable to this natural phenomenon. A day without electricity in the UK would certainly not only be inconvenient but also have huge economic consequences. In this talk I will introduce the geohazard space weather, its interaction with the geomagnetic field and how models of conductivity help to quantify and even forecast the impacts on the power grid, pipelines and the railway in the UK.

This talk is part of the Sedgwick Club talks series.

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