Earth's lithospheric magnetic field determined to spherical harmonic degree 90 from CHAMP satellite measurements

S. Maus, M. Rother, K. Hemant, C. Stolle, H. Luhr, A. Kuvshinov, Nils Olsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The CHAMP magnetic field mission is providing highly reliable measurements from which the global lithospheric magnetic field can be determined in unprecedented resolution and accuracy. Using almost 5 yr of data, we derive our fourth generation lithospheric field model termed MF4, which is expanded to spherical harmonic degree and order 90. After subtracting from the full magnetic field observations predicted fields from an internal field model up to degree 15, an external field model up to degree two, and the predicted magnetic field signatures for the eight dominant ocean tidal constituents, we fit and remove remaining external fields and polar electrojet signatures in a track-by-track scheme. From a subset of least disturbed tracks, we estimate the MF4 model by least squares, damping ill-determined coefficients by regularization. The resulting MF4 model provides a good representation of the lithospheric field down to an altitude of about 50 km at lower latitudes, with reduced accuracy in the polar regions. Crustal features come out significantly sharper than in previous models. In particular, bands of magnetic anomalies along subduction zones become visible by satellite for the first time.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Journal International
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)319-330
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • field modelling
  • lithospheric field
  • crustal field
  • geomagnetic field
  • crustal magnetization

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Earth's lithospheric magnetic field determined to spherical harmonic degree 90 from CHAMP satellite measurements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this