EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Probability estimation of a Carrington-like geomagnetic storm

Isabel Serra1,2,3, David Moriña3,4,5, Pere Puig3,5, and Álvaro Corral6
Isabel Serra et al.
  • 1Centre de Recerca Matemàtica, Complex Systems, Spain (
  • 2Barcelona Supercomputing Center, E-08034, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 3Departament de Matemàtiques, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), E-08193, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 4Unit of Infections and Cancer - Information and Interventions (UNIC - I&I), Cancer Epidemiology Research Program (CERP), Catalan Institute of Oncology (ICO)-IDIBELL, L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 5Barcelona Graduate School of Mathematics (BGSMath), Edifici C, Campus Bellaterra, E-08193, Barcelona, Spain.
  • 6Complexity Science Hub Vienna, Josefstädter Straβe 39, 1080, Vienna, Austria.

Intense geomagnetic storms can cause severe damage to electrical systems and communications. this work proposes a counting process with Weibull inter-occurrence times in order to estimate the probability of extreme geomagnetic events. It is found that the scale parameter of the inter-occurrence time distribution grows exponentially with the absolute value of the intensity threshold defining the storm, whereas the shape parameter keeps rather constant. The model is able to forecast the probability of occurrence of an event for a given intensity threshold; in particular, the probability of occurrence on the next decade of an extreme event of a magnitude comparable or larger than the well-known Carrington event of 1859 is explored, and estimated to be between 0.46% and 1.88% (with a 95% confidence), a much lower value than those reported in the existing literature.

How to cite: Serra, I., Moriña, D., Puig, P., and Corral, Á.: Probability estimation of a Carrington-like geomagnetic storm, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-8763,, 2020


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