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Welcome to the SWIGS project

On 1st May 2017 BGS led the kick-off of a major new space weather project called 'Space Weather Impacts on Ground-based Systems', or SWIGS. This is a £3M, four year NERC-funded consortium of ten institutes, 21 researchers and 7 post-docs, under the Highlight Topic funding stream. This is a major investment by NERC in space weather and the consortium led by BGS comprises many of the major UK players in the subject.

One novel aspect of SWIGS is the bringing together of space physicists and geophysicists studying the solid Earth and upper atmosphere. Together with project partners in the US, Canada, Europe, New Zealand and China, as well as industry stakeholders, we will develop our understanding of how space weather and geomagnetic activity drives electric fields in the Earth and quantify the impacts of this on power grids, as well as pipeline and rail networks.

  • WP1: Magnetospheric-Ionospheric Sources (MIS) of GIC (BAS, RAL, UCL)
  • WP2: Solid Earth Response to MIS (BGS, Edinburgh, Southampton)
  • WP3: Forecasting MIS and GIC processes (BAS, BGS, Imperial, Lancaster, Leeds, RAL, Reading)
  • WP4: Infrastructure Impact of GIC (BGS, Lancaster, RAL)
  • WP5: Management of Outputs, Reporting, Coordination and Outreach (BGS, WP leads)


Principle Investigator: Dr Alan Thomson1
Co-Investigators: Dr Ciaran Beggan1, Dr Yulia Boganova6, Prof Jeremy Chittenden5, Dr Mark Clilverd3, Prof Malcolm Dunlop6, Dr Emma Eastoe4, Dr Jonathan Eastwood5, Dr Robert Fear7, Dr Mervyn Freeman3, Prof Mike Hapgood6, Dr Andrew Kavanagh3, Dr Phil Livermore8, Prof Mike Lockwood9, Dr Jon Mound8, Dr Matthew Owen9, Dr Jonathan Rae10, Dr Gemma Richardson1, Dr Fiona Simpson7, Prof Katherine Whaler2, Prof Jim Wild4

1. British Geological Survey, 2. University of Edinburgh, 3. British Antarctic Survey, 4. University of Lancaster, 5. Imperial College, 6. Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, 7. University of Southampton, 8. University of Leeds, 9. University of Reading, 10. University College London

Project Partners

Dr Ari Viljanen (FMI, Finland), Dr David Boteler (NRCan, Canada), Prof C. Trevor Gaunt (University of Cape Town, South Africa) Prof Craig Rodger (University of Otago, New Zealand), Prof Peter Gallagher (Trinity College Dublin, Republic of Ireland), Dr Jesper Gjerloev (John Hopkins University, USA), Prof David Jackson (UK Met Office), Prof Karsten Bahr (University of Gottingen), Prof Andreas Junge (University of Frankfurt), Prof Jin Bin Cao (Beihang University, China), Prof Lianguang Liu (North China Electric Power University)


For more information please contact Dr Alan Thomson.