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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.
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.
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...
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...
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,...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
from The Washington Post
From The Washington Post and Times Herald.
Fredericksburg Magnetic Observatory and Laboratory Corbin, Virginia.
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.
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.
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.
New strides have been made toward quantifying how geomagnetic storms can interfere with the nation’s electric-power grid systems.
September is National Preparedness Month, a time to highlight the resources available to help you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible.
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.
USGS explores the meaning behind Frederic Edwin Church's 1865 painting, “Aurora Borealis.”
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.