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INTERMAGNET (the International Real-time Magnetic Observatory Network) is a world-wide consortium of institutes operating ground-based magnetometers recording the absolute level of the Earth's time-varying magnetic field,[1][2][3] to an agreed set of standards. INTERMAGNET has its roots in discussions held at the Workshop on Magnetic Observatory Instruments in Ottawa, Canada, in August 1986 and at the Nordic Comparison Meeting in Chambon La Foret, France, in May 1987. A pilot scheme between USGS and BGS was described in the sessions of Division V of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy at the 19th General Assembly of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics in Vancouver, Canada, in August 1987. This scheme used the GOES East satellite to successfully transfer geomagnetic data between the two organisations. INTERMAGNET was founded soon after in order to extend the network of observatories communicating in this way. 62 different institutes are now members of the INTERMAGNET consortium, and, since 1991, data have been contributed to INTERMAGNET from approximately 150 observatories. INTERMAGNET is a member of the World Data System of the International Science Council, and it is closely associated with the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy.[4]

INTERMAGNET is organised into an Executive Council, formed of representatives of its founding members (NRCan - Canada, IPGP - France, BGS - United Kingdom, USGS - United States of America), and an Operations Committee, formed of members from many institutes concerned with geomagnetism and with operating magnetic observatories. The Operations Committee handles applications for membership of INTERMAGNET, implements updates to the technical manual.[5] and oversees the maintenance of standards and the annual publication of data. Intermagnet operational standards and other technical information are summarized in the technical manual.


Vision, Mission and StrategyEdit

The INTERMAGNET vision is of

A global, real-time, permanent geomagnetic observatory network, which is recognized as a key Earth observation system and which provides data that serves scientific research into the Earth, from its deep interior to space, and supports operational services benefiting society.

The INTERMAGNET mission is to

Establish and maintain an organization with a worldwide membership drawn from institutes operating geomagnetic observatories that is dedicated to building a network of geomagnetic observatories supplying consistent data, with the geographical coverage, quality, and timeliness of delivery required to meet the evolving needs of research and applied science.

The INTERMAGNET strategy is to

  • Set mandatory standards for measurement, data processing, formats and transmission for network membership, and to support geomagnetic observatory operators in achieving these standards by providing technical assistance
  • Provide advice on the establishment of new observatories, to help to co-ordinate initiatives taken by member institutes and so to optimize the scientific value of the global network
  • Support data services, as a member of the World Data System, by maintaining an infrastructure for geomagnetic observatory data collection and dissemination
  • Communicate with data users to promote use of INTERMAGNET data and to understand their requirements, feeding this information into the definitions of operating standards
  • Work closely with the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy and other organizations concerned with magnetic observatory operations
  • Maintain a dialog with technology providers to take advantage of new developments in instrumentation and data acquisition and to advise them of user demands for data to inform their system developments


1-minute resolution data time series are available from all INTERMAGNET observatories; "preliminary" or raw, unprocessed data are reported promptly from each observatory (for some stations, within an hour of acquisition);"definitive" data represent each institute's best data product--they are accurate representations of the geomagnetic field and its time dependence.

INTERMAGNET introduced (as of 2016) a standard for the recording and reporting of 1-second sampled data by Intermagnet Magnetic Observatories (IMO) and also introduced (in 2013) a category of "quasi-definitive" data to encourage the prompt reporting of observatory data that are demonstrably "close" to fully calibrated (or "definitive") data, to ensure the use of ground-based data alongside satellite survey data, within regional and global magnetic field models.


INTERMAGNET data are used for a wide variety of applications, including geomagnetic field mapping, monitoring variable space-weather conditions, directional drilling for oil and gas, aeromagnetic surveying, assessment of geomagnetic hazards (including space weather), and fundamental research on the Earth's interior and surrounding space and atmospheric environments. Standard products utilizing INTERMAGNET data include: magnetic indices (e.g. K, Dst), the World Magnetic Model and the International Geomagnetic Reference Field.


  1. ^ Kerridge, D. J. (2001). "INTERMAGNET: Worldwide near-real-time geomagnetic observatory data" (PDF). Proc. ESA Space Weather Workshop, ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.
  2. ^ Rasson, J.L. (2007). "Observatories, Intermagnet". In Gubbins, D.; Herrero-Bervera, E. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism. Springer, Dordrecht. doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-4423-6_227.
  3. ^ Love, J. J.; Chulliat, A. (2013). "An International Network of Magnetic Observatories". Eos Trans. AGU. 94 (42). pp. 373–374. doi:10.1002/2013EO420001.
  4. ^ "Intermagnet".
  5. ^ St-Louis, Benoît, ed. (2012). Intermagnet Technical Manual.

External linksEdit