Geomagnetic Disturbance (GMD) Hazards

Geomagnetic storms originating from our active sun’s solar flares impact the magnetic and electric fields here on Earth.   The elevated electric fields can cause geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) in electric lines that may damage critical power infrastructure.  Our scientists and engineers are on the forefront of geomagnetic disturbance hazard studies, building tools and sensors to analyze impacts, monitor hazards, and provide actionable information about this space weather phenomena.  CPI’s geomagnetic hazard analysis is led out of the CPI Boulder office.

The orientation of long transmission lines, the core type of transformer equipment and the grounding characteristics of substations all play a role in the amount of GIC that is experienced by an individual power system during a given geomagnetic storm.  Complicating matters even further, electric field intensities vary greatly from location to location due to rock conductivities deep in the earth.

CPI's real-time electric field model, AVERT, along with our custom built Space Hazard Monitors (SHMs) give utilities the information they need to "see" the localized GMD hazard in real-time and react to evolving conditions.

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About Geomagnetic Disturbance Hazards

Our Geomagnetic Disturbance Hazard team, with its external partners, has extensive experience in geophysical and electric field modeling. Our members have worked within government agencies to develop conductivity maps, participated in the NERC GMD Task Force, and built electric field models. CPI has worked with power system owners and operators to do GIC risk analyses and prepare for GMD compliance with upcoming FERC regulations. We are committed to serving the power grid community in understanding and preparing for GMD.

Dr. Jennifer L. Gannon

Phone: (303) 442-3992 | Email:

Jennifer Gannon currently serves in our CPI Boulder office as the Geomagnetic Disturbance Hazard Lead.  She has been studying charged particles and electromagnetic phenomena in near-earth space and the solid earth throughout her scientific career. Dr. Gannon served as a scientist at the NOAA Space Environment Center and its successor agency, the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center, and later as a Federal researcher at the U.S. Geological Survey.

Moving to the private sector, Dr. Gannon co-founded Space Hazards Applications, LLC, of Boulder, Colorado, a consulting firm for space hazards to built infrastructure. She is the author or co-author of many publications in the peer-reviewed literature, as well as several U.S.G.S. Open-file Reports and conference presentations. Dr. Gannon received her Ph.D. degree at the University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in 2006.

Selected Publications

Surface Electric Fields for North America During Historical Geomagnetic Storms, Lisa H. Wei, Nicole Homeier, and Jennifer L. Gannon, Space Weather 2013, doi:10.1002/swe.20073.

Magnetic pulsations and wavelet analyses, Xu, Z., Gannon, J. L. & Rigler, E. J., 2013. Report of geomagnetic pulsation indices for space weather applications: USGS Open-File Report 2013–1166, 22 p.

L. Rastätter, M. M. Kuznetsova, A. Glocer, D. Welling, X. Meng, J. Raeder, M. Wiltberger, V. K. Jordanova, Y. Yu, S. Zaharia, R. S. Weigel, S. Sazykin, R. Boynton, H. Wei, V. Eccles, W. Horton, M. L. Mays, and J. Gannon, Geospace environment modeling 2008–2009 challenge: Dst index, Space Weather, 2013.

Z.Xu, J.L. Gannon, and E.J. Rigler, Report of Geomagnetic Pulsation Indices for Space Weather Applications, USGS Open-File Report, 2013.

Siscoe, G. L., Love, J. J. & Gannon, J. L., 2012. Problem of the Love-Gannon relation between the asymmetric disturbance field and Dst, J. Geophys. Res., 117, A09216, doi:10.1029/2012JA017879.

Winter, L. M., J. Gannon, R. Pernak, S. Huston, R. Quinn, E. Pope, A. Ruffenach, P. Bernardara, and N. Crocker (2017), Spectral scaling technique to determine extreme Carrington-level geomagnetically induced currents effects, Space Weather, 15, 713–725, doi:10.1002/2016SW001586.

Jennifer Gannon,  Geomagnetic Storms and Geomagnetically Induced Currents, Electric Energy T&D, vol. 114 ,2016.