Geomagnetism

Home

Programs L2 Landing Page

We monitor the Earth's magnetic field. Using ground-based observatories, we provide continuous records of magnetic field variations; disseminate magnetic data to various governmental, academic, and private institutions; and conduct research into the nature of geomagnetic variations for purposes of scientific understanding and hazard mitigation.

Geomagnetism Program

Geomagnetism Program

Explore the Geomagnetism Program.

Explore

Real-time Geomagnetic Conditions

Real-time Geomagnetic Conditions

Real-time data map display from USGS geomagnetic observatories.

View

Geomag Plots

Geomag Plots

Real-time HEZF index display from USGS geomagnetic observatories internet feeds without filling gaps with satellite data.

View

News

Date published: March 8, 2018

New 3D Measurements Improve Understanding of Geomagnetic Storm Hazards

Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of the earth, as opposed to the one-dimensional models typically used, can help scientists more accurately determine which areas of the United States are most vulnerable to blackouts during hazardous geomagnetic storms.

Date published: September 6, 2017

USGS Science Leads the Way for National Preparedness

With hurricanes in the east and wildfires in the west, natural hazards have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year. USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.

Date published: May 1, 2017

Preparing the Nation for Intense Space Weather

While major geomagnetic storms are rare, with only a few recorded per century, there is significant potential for large-scale impacts when they do occur. Extreme space weather can be viewed as hazards for the economy and national security.

Filter Total Items: 20
Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Fresno (FRN)

The Geomagnetism Program established an observatory near Fresno in 1980. The observatory is on the Pacific Southwest Research Station of the US Forest Service under terms of an agreement with the USGS and the Geomagnetism Program.

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Guam (GUA)

The Guam observatory was established in 1957. The observatory is situated on property owned by the U.S. Air Force according to terms of an agreement with the USGS and the Geomagnetism Program.

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Fredericksburg (FRD)

The Geomagnetism Program established its first observatory at Cheltenham Maryland in 1900, when the Program was part of the Coast and Geodetic Survey and under the leadership of Drs Louis A. Bauer and John A. Fleming. The observatory was moved to Fredericksburg in 1956, a site which for many years served as the Program’s headquarters. Today, because it has produced high-quality data for so...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Deadhorse (DED)

The Deadhorse magnetic observatory is the newest USGS observatory, with initial operational capability established in March 2010. This observatory is unique in that it is a public-private partnership between the USGS and Schlumberger. The observatory was constructed by Schlumberger in cooperation with the USGS under a technical assistance agreement. The...

Date published: July 20, 2018

College (CMO)

The Geomagnetic Program, then part of the US Coast and Geodetic Survey, began work in Fairbanks during the Second International Polar Year, 1932-1934, as part of an effort with the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institution. Collaborative work with the University of Alaska began in the 1940's, with the full-fledged College observatory commencing operation in 1948. Today,...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Stennis (BSL)

The Geomagnetism Program established an observatory on the Stennis Space Center in 1986. The site of the space center is large, including some forest land, which helps insulate the observatory from outside interference. The Stennis observatory, formerly known as the Bay St. Louis observatory, is operated as a partnership between the USGS and the Stennis...

Attribution: Geomagnetism
Date published: July 20, 2018

Barrow (BRW)

The Barrow magnetic observatory was established in 1949, with major upgrades in 1957 associated with the International Geophysical Year. The current physical plant was put into place in 1975. The observatory is of particular importance to the Geomagnetism Program because it is the most northerly of all the USGS observatories, being located well within the auroral oval. The observatory is...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Boulder (BOU)

The Boulder observatory was established in 1963. The grounds for the observatory are overseen by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the Department of Commerce. This observatory is closest to Program headquarters in Golden. Therefore, in addition to serving as a site for routine data collection, Boulder also functions as the...

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Geomagnetism Observatories

Get information on and locations of geomagnetic observatories operated by the USGS and partners of the USGS geomagnetism program.

Date published: July 20, 2018

International Observatory Programs

Links to our international observatory partners' programs.

Date published: July 20, 2018
Status: Active

Geomagnetism Instrumentation

See the instruments we use at our geomagnetic observatories and how they help us to gather data.

Date published: July 20, 2018

Geomagnetism Monitoring Operations

Learn more about the USGS Geomagnetism operations.

Filter Total Items: 6
Date published: July 17, 2018

Other Sources of Data

Looking for more data?

Attribution: Geomagnetism
Date published: July 17, 2018

Models

View and download model results from magnetic studies.

Date published: October 15, 2017

Magnetic Disturbance Events

View reports on magnetic disturbance events.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Download Real-Time Data

Download real-time and definitive data and indices from USGS geomagnetic observatories.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Real-Time Display of Geomagnetism Plots

Real-time HEZF data from USGS geomagnetic observatories with satellite data used to fill gaps.

Date published: April 27, 2016

Real-Time Disturbance Storm Time (Dst) Display

Real-time Dst data from USGS observatories as well as other world partners.

Filter Total Items: 2
Date published: October 16, 2017

Regional Conductivity Maps

Location of 1D Earth Resistivity Models with respect to Physiographic Regions of the USA

Date published: March 7, 2016

Observatories

Map of USGS Magnetic observatory locations.

Filter Total Items: 7
Year Published: 2015

Real-time validation of the Dst Predictor model

The Dst Predictor model, which has been running real-time in the Space Weather Analysis and Forecast System (SWAFS), provides 1-hour and 4-hour forecasts of the Dst index. This is useful for awareness of impending geomagnetic activity, as well as driving other real-time models that use Dst as an input. In this report, we examine the performance of...

McCollough, James P.; Young, Shawn L.; Rigler, E. Joshua; Simpson, Hal A.

Year Published: 2013

On the insignificance of Herschel's sunspot correlation

We examine William Herschel's hypothesis that solar-cycle variation of the Sun's irradiance has a modulating effect on the Earth's climate and that this is, specifically, manifested as an anticorrelation between sunspot number and the market price of wheat. Since Herschel first proposed his hypothesis in 1801, it has been regarded with both...

Love, Jeffrey J.
On the insignificance of Herschel's sunspot correlation; 2013; Article; Journal; Geophysical Research Letters; Love, Jeffrey J.

Year Published: 2011

East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains

The Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains are the least understood tectonic feature on Earth, because they are completely hidden beneath the East Antarctic Ice Sheet. Their high elevation and youthful Alpine topography, combined with their location on the East Antarctic craton, creates a paradox that has puzzled researchers since the mountains were...

Ferraccioli, F.; Finn, Carol A.; Jordan, Tom A.; Bell, Robin E.; Anderson, Lester M.; Damaske, Detlef
East Antarctic rifting triggers uplift of the Gamburtsev Mountains; 2011; Article; Journal; Nature; Ferraccioli, F.; Finn, Carol A.; Jordan, Tom A.; Bell, Robin E.; Anderson, Lester M.; Damaske, Detlef

Year Published: 2009

Proceedings of the XIIIth IAGA Workshop on Geomagnetic Observatory Instruments, Data Acquisition, and Processing

The thirteenth biennial International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA) Workshop on Geomagnetic Observatory Instruments, Data Acquisition and Processing was held in the United States for the first time on June 9-18, 2008. Hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Geomagnetism Program, the workshop's measurement session was held...

Love, Jeffrey J.
Proceedings of the XIIIth IAGA Workshop on Geomagnetic Observatory Instruments, Data Acquisition, and Processing; 2009; OFR; 2009-1226; Edited by Love, Jeffrey J.

Year Published: 2006

National Geomagnetism Program: Current Status & Five-Year Plan, 2006-2010

Executive Summary: The U.S. Geological Survey's Geomagnetism Program serves the scientific community and the broader public by collecting and distributing magnetometer data from an array of ground-based observatories and by conducting scientific analysis on those data. Preliminary, variational time-series can be collected and distributed in near-...

Love, Jeffrey J.
National Geomagnetism Program: Current Status & Five-Year Plan, 2006-2010; 2006; OFR; 2006-1352; Love, Jeffrey J.

Year Published: 2001

Relocation of Wyoming mine production blasts using calibration explosions

An important requirement for a comprehensive seismic monitoring system is the capability to accurately locate small seismic events worldwide. Accurate event location can improve the probability of determining whether or not a small event, recorded predominantly by local and regional stations, is a nuclear explosion. For those portions of the earth...

Finn, Carol A.; Kraft, Gordon D.; Sibol, Matthew S.; Jones, Ronald L.; Pulaski, Mark E.
Relocation of Wyoming mine production blasts using calibration explosions; 2001; Book chapter; Book; Monitoring the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty: Sourse Location; Finn, Carol A.; Kraft, Gordon D.; Sibol, Matthew S.; Jones, Ronald L.; Pulaski, Mark E.

Year Published: 1997

On the watch for geomagnetic storms

Geomagnetic storms, induced by solar activity, pose significant hazards to satellites, electrical power distribution systems, radio communications, navigation, and geophysical surveys. Strong storms can expose astronauts and crews of high-flying aircraft to dangerous levels of radiation. Economic losses from recent geomagnetic storms have run into...

Green, Arthur W.; Brown, William M.
On the watch for geomagnetic storms; 1997; FS; 177-97; Green, Arthur W.; Brown, William M., III

Filter Total Items: 9
Image: Guam Geomagnetic Observatory
August 8, 2011

Guam Geomagnetic Observatory

Guam geomagnetic observatory.

Attribution: Geomagnetism
Image: Guam Geomagnetic Observatory

Guam Geomagnetic Observatory

Variations building at Guam geomagnetic observatory.

Attribution: Geomagnetism
Image: Guam Geomagnetic Observatory

Guam Geomagnetic Observatory

Nema box at Guam geomagnetic observatory.

Attribution: Geomagnetism
Image: Guam Geomagnetic Observatory

Guam Geomagnetic Observatory

Kat Uchima at Guam geomagnetic observatory.

Attribution: Geomagnetism

Geodetic Survey Set to Dedicate Observatory

From The Washington Post and Times Herald.

U. S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE COAST & GEODETIC SURVEY

Fredericksburg Magnetic Observatory and Laboratory Corbin, Virginia.

Filter Total Items: 8
Date published: March 8, 2018

New 3D Measurements Improve Understanding of Geomagnetic Storm Hazards

Measurements of the three-dimensional structure of the earth, as opposed to the one-dimensional models typically used, can help scientists more accurately determine which areas of the United States are most vulnerable to blackouts during hazardous geomagnetic storms.

Date published: September 6, 2017

USGS Science Leads the Way for National Preparedness

With hurricanes in the east and wildfires in the west, natural hazards have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year. USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.

Date published: May 1, 2017

Preparing the Nation for Intense Space Weather

While major geomagnetic storms are rare, with only a few recorded per century, there is significant potential for large-scale impacts when they do occur. Extreme space weather can be viewed as hazards for the economy and national security.

Date published: September 12, 2016

Mapping a Space-Weather Menace to Electric-Power Grids

New strides have been made toward quantifying how geomagnetic storms can interfere with the nation’s electric-power grid systems.  

Date published: September 1, 2016

September is National Preparedness Month

September is National Preparedness Month, a time to highlight the resources available to help you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible. 

Date published: January 7, 2016

Getting Down to Earth with Space Hazards

Magnetic storms can interfere with the operation of electric power grids and damage grid infrastructure. They can also disrupt directional drilling for oil and gas, radio communications, communication satellites and GPS systems.

Date published: September 30, 2015

Aurora Borealis Painting Pays Tribute to Civil War’s End

USGS explores the meaning behind Frederic Edwin Church's 1865 painting, “Aurora Borealis.”

Date published: September 28, 2015

Join America’s PrepareAthon! Practice what to do in the event of a disaster or emergency.

Join millions of people participating in America’s PrepareAthon! on Sept. 30. This campaign encourages the nation to conduct drills, discussions and exercises to practice what to do before, during and after a disaster or emergency strikes.