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Northern lights aurora borealis over planet Earth

Sun storms causing corrosion

Telluric currents caused by ionospheric current variations can have considerable influence on corrosion in auroral zones

Pipeline corrosion

The geomagnetic interaction on well coated buried pipelines can create potential fluctuations of several volts. These fluctuations can cause corrosion hazard, even though the percentage of time of interference is fairly short.

Buried pipelines are much better conductors than the surrounding soil, hence, the charge associated with the potential field fluctuations will tend to enter, transport and discharge along the pipeline.

Electric currents in long pipelines can contribute to corrosion effects

The pipeline coating layer would usually have a specific resistance high enough to act as an insulator protecting against the telluric interference. However, the coating may have cracks and weak spots which can result in corrosion. The major part of the current induced from geomagnetic interaction is discharged at the pipeline ends, which for this reason are most exposed to corrosion.

Protection against corrosion

To prevent corrosion of buried pipelines in auroral zones, the pipeline should be well cathodically protected. Additionally, some type of grounding should be established to drain induced current and minimize telluric interference.

Solar wind

The energy source for the aurora is the solar wind. Streams of charged particles that produce the aurora come from the corona, the outermost layer of the sun`s atmosphere.

The wild nature of the Lofoten Islands is just as beautiful in winter as the rest of the year, especially when the northern lights come out at night
The wild nature of the Lofoten Islands is just as beautiful in winter as the rest of the year, especially when the northern lights come out at night

The auroras are the result of collision between gaseous particles (in the earth`s atmosphere) with charged particles (released from the sun`s atmosphere).

Heavy solar storms resulting in aurora borealis could short out telecom satellites, radio communications and lead to corrosion on buried pipelines.

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