Evaluation of candidate geomagnetic field models for IGRF-12

Erwan Thébault, Chris Finlay, Patrick Alken, Ciarán D. Beggan, Elisabeth Canet, Arnaud Chulliat, Benoit Langlais, Vincent Lesur, Frank J. Lowes, Chandrasekharan Manoj, Martin Rother, Reyko Schachtschneider

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Background: The 12th revision of the International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) was issued in December 2014 by the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) Division V Working Group V-MOD (http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/IAGA/vmod/igrf.html). This revision comprises new spherical harmonic main field models for epochs 2010.0 (DGRF-2010) and 2015.0 (IGRF-2015) and predictive linear secular variation for the interval 2015.0-2020.0 (SV-2010-2015). Findings: The models were derived from weighted averages of candidate models submitted by ten international teams. Teams were led by the British Geological Survey (UK), DTU Space (Denmark), ISTerre (France), IZMIRAN (Russia), NOAA/NGDC (USA), GFZ Potsdam (Germany), NASA/GSFC (USA), IPGP (France), LPG Nantes (France), and ETH Zurich (Switzerland). Each candidate model was carefully evaluated and compared to all other models and a mean model using well-defined statistical criteria in the spectral domain and maps in the physical space. These analyses were made to pinpoint both troublesome coefficients and the geographical regions where the candidate models most significantly differ. Some models showed clear deviation from other candidate models. However, a majority of the task force members appointed by IAGA thought that the differences were not sufficient to exclude models that were well documented and based on different techniques. Conclusions: The task force thus voted for and applied an iterative robust estimation scheme in space. In this paper, we report on the evaluations of the candidate models and provide details of the algorithm that was used to derive the IGRF-12 product.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEarth, Planets and Space
Issue number112
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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  • Geomagnetism
  • Field modeling
  • IGRF


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