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Open Access

Semi-annual variation of the geomagnetic field

Earth, Planets and Space201451:BF03352236

Received: 29 September 1998

Accepted: 21 April 1999

Published: 6 June 2014


Nighttime hourly mean values of D, H and Z (or X, Y and Z in a few cases) from 113 observatories for the interval 1964.0 to 1966.0 have been analyzed to determine the semi-annual variation. Results from the 84 observatories with dip latitudes between ±60° have been subjected to spherical harmonic analysis to determine the coefficients of the internal and external parts. Only those coefficients that are found to be significantly different from zero at the 5 per cent level have been included.

One of the main objectives is to obtain a reliable estimate, with confidence limits, of the internal/external ratio at a very low frequency for constraining estimates of the deep conductivity of the mantle. It is shown that a model that includes only the principal P 1 0 term can lead to a seriously misleading internal/external ratio.


Annual VariationMagnetic ObservatoryHeliographic LatitudeSpherical Harmonic AnalysisSemiannual Variation