Geomagnetic Virtual Observatories: monitoring geomagnetic secular variation with the Swarm satellites

Hammer, Magnus D. ORCID:; Cox, Grace A. ORCID:; Brown, William J. ORCID:; Beggan, Ciaran D. ORCID:; Finlay, Christopher C. ORCID: 2021 Geomagnetic Virtual Observatories: monitoring geomagnetic secular variation with the Swarm satellites. Earth, Planets and Space, 73 (54).

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We present geomagnetic main field and secular variation time series, at 300 equal-area distributed locations and at 490 km altitude, derived from magnetic field measurements collected by the three Swarm satellites. These Geomagnetic Virtual Observatory (GVO) series provide a convenient means to globally monitor and analyze long-term variations of the geomagnetic field from low-Earth orbit. The series are obtained by robust fits of local Cartesian potential field models to along-track and East–West sums and differences of Swarm satellite data collected within a radius of 700 km of the GVO locations during either 1-monthly or 4-monthly time windows. We describe two GVO data products: (1) ‘Observed Field’ GVO time series, where all observed sources contribute to the estimated values, without any data selection or correction, and (2) ‘Core Field’ GVO time series, where additional data selection is carried out, then de-noising schemes and epoch-by-epoch spherical harmonic analysis are applied to reduce contamination by magnetospheric and ionospheric signals. Secular variation series are provided as annual differences of the Core Field GVOs. We present examples of the resulting Swarm GVO series, assessing their quality through comparisons with ground observatories and geomagnetic field models. In benchmark comparisons with six high-quality mid-to-low latitude ground observatories we find the secular variation of the Core Field GVO field intensities, calculated using annual differences, agrees to an rms of 1.8 nT/yr and 1.2 nT/yr for the 1-monthly and 4-monthly versions, respectively. Regular sampling in space and time, and the availability of data error estimates, makes the GVO series well suited for users wishing to perform data assimilation studies of core dynamics, or to study long-period magnetospheric and ionospheric signals and their induced counterparts. The Swarm GVO time series will be regularly updated, approximately every four months, allowing ready access to the latest secular variation data from the Swarm satellites.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
ISSN: 1343-8832
Additional Keywords: Geomagnetism, Swarm, Secular Variation
Date made live: 23 Feb 2021 11:02 +0 (UTC)

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