Geomagnetic Observations for Main Field Studies: from Ground to Space

Jürgen Matzka, A. Chulliat, M. Mandea, Chris Finlay, E. Qamili

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Direct measurements of the geomagnetic field have been made for more than 400 years, beginning with individual determinations of the angle between geographic and magnetic North. This was followed by the start of continuous time series of full vector measurements at geomagnetic observatories and the beginning of geomagnetic repeat stations surveys in the 19th century. In the second half of the 20th century, true global coverage with geomagnetic field measurements was accomplished by magnetometer payloads on low-Earth-orbiting satellites. This article describes the procedures and instruments for magnetic field measurements on ground and in space and covers geomagnetic observatories, repeat stations, automatic observatories, satellites and historic observations. Special emphasis is laid on the global network of geomagnetic observatories.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSpace Science Reviews
Issue number1-4
Pages (from-to)29-64
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Geomagnetic field
  • Observations
  • Magnetic Satellite missions
  • Geomagnetic observatories

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