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Space Weather Studies in Azerbaijan: Influence on Technological,
Ecological and Biological Systems
Space Weather is determined by the most varied interactions between the Sun and interplanetary space, and the Earth, and can affect not only technological, but also ecological and biological systems and can endanger human life and health. It is of great importance to get more and better knowledge about solar and geomagnetic storms' effects on the above-mentioned systems. For these purposes in Azerbaijan we are studying the possible influence of such Space Weather factors as the effects of scintillation, solar and geomagnetic storms' influence on human health and some engineering-technical systems both space borne and of ground-based origin, on ecological processes. Part of major and recently obtained results of these complex investigations is provided in this paper.
Some significant results of studies on possible influence of Space Weather conditions on the oil extraction in Azerbaijan during last fifty years are described. For purposes of the study the influence of solar and geomagnetic activity on technological processes of development of oil fields, main indexes of oil production activity of the Unit-5 of the Horizon-10 at the oil-field 'Neft Dashlary' ('Oil Rocks') in the Caspian Sea as well as some land oil-fields in Azerbaijan were analyzed. Relation between oil/gas production processes and solar activity is of practical interest of reservoir engineering and could be used successfully at planning and realization of different technological processes of oil production activity, especially during years of high solar- and geomagnetic activity.
We have studied geomagnetic storms' effects on electrical power generation and transmission network and equipment, i.e. the influence of geomagnetically induced currents. We have tried to apply existing theory on available data covering at least two sunspot cycles, in the Azerbaijan, even if there is still much work to be done and are many unsolved questions remaining. Several great geomagnetic storms, which have occurred during the past and present solar cycles, have been considered (13-14 March 1989, 14-15 July 2000, 29 September - 3 October 2001, 24 October-4 November 2003). Analysis of magnetic records for selected magnetic storms and relevant power cuts has revealed that power line disturbances mainly occur when the geomagnetic field displays sharp changes. A number of harmonic oscillations in the current and voltage, disrupting the signal waveforms, are registered in GIC-saturated transformers. Preliminary results show that the transformers that are positioned at the corners of an electrical power system suffer the worst damage from geomagnetically induced currents. Preliminary results have shown that geomagnetic storm effects were not so strong (significant) in Azerbaijan (middle latitudes) and the effects on consumers were small.
Possible influence of Space Weather conditions on the Caspian Sea level changes is investigated using the data covering more than 100 years. Attention was paid to the astrophysical interpretation of phenomenon along with geological, climatologic and ecological factors that could explain periodical changes of the sea level.
Results of studies on the possible influence of changes of helio-geophysical conditions on the bee-keeping are described as well.
We have studied possible influence of solar and geomagnetic activity on thalassemia and on epidemic of some diseases caused by virus infections in Azerbaijan such as measles, rubeola, variola, tularemia, icterus, mumps, plague (gnawer's), hepatitis, influenza, strong respiratory diseases, and others.