The Geomagnetic Field: Its Description and Analysis

The Geomagnetic Field: Its Description and Analysis

The Geomagnetic Field: Its Description and Analysis

The Geomagnetic Field: Its Description and Analysis


This book continues a descriptive study of geomagnetism begun with Carnegie Institution of Washington Publication 578, which was principally concerned with the description of the Earth's main magnetic field and its secular change. The present volume extends this work to the various known geomagnetic variations, with inclusion of some analyses.

To a considerable extent, the present book is actually a by-product of Publication 578, since extensive information on geomagnetic variations was required for the improving of estimates therein of geomagnetic secular change for the period 1905 to 1945. Because the latter required descriptive information respecting shorter- period time-variations on a world-wide scale and over these many years, the general scope of coverage is considerable. Moreover, the emphasis has been upon the description rather than upon the interpretation of results.

It is believed that the two volumes together comprise the first convenient detailed compendium of geomagnetic data especially suited to the needs of those engineering workers who are mainly concerned with the practical applications of geomagnetism. The wide use of illustrative diagrams (many initially drawn as a training exercise for the draftsmen who drew the maps of the first volume) enhances the effective description of geomagnetic phenomena of our environment. The books emerge therefore as a kind of picture supplement to the standard treatise Geomagnetism; the writer hopes that his teacher, Professor Chapman, senior author of that treatise, will not object to such suggestion, provided he be not held at fault for any mistakes that we may have made.

In the course of pursuing the major descriptive objectives of this war project, the writers could not resist the temptation to undertake some serious investigations of the extensive new data available. Hence attempts at explanation of certain phenomena will be found at intervals, between the stacks of figures and tables, along with some short discussions linking the present with previous work. The writers hope that in this way a more interesting and readable account has been provided.

The writers wish to thank our many coworkers whom we represent as authors of this volume. We wish to record especial indebtedness to Dr. J. A. Fleming for material assistance over a period of several years. We have benefited much also by the interest and encouragement of Dr. M. A. Tuve, Director, which facilitated the speedy production of a book including much troublesome detail. Among our many other coworkers, there were especially valuable contributions by E. Balsam, N. Davids, W. N. Dove, H. D. Harradon, D. T. Heck, W. C. Hendrix, H. F. Johnston, C. M. Martin, R. Mason, H. M. Myers, A. M. Palmer, W. E. Scott, J. W. Smith, M. B. Smith (administrative matters), E. J. Snyder, and O. W. Torreson (publication). We wish also to mention the skilled assistance of R. E. Tritt in the operation of punched-card computing equipment.

Finally, grateful acknowledgment is made to the Naval Ordnance Laboratory, United States Navy Department, for the financial help covering this work and report; it is a pleasure to record also our appreciation to the Naval technical representative, Dr. G. H. Shortley, now of Ohio State University, whose quick grasp of the problems of geomagnetism facilitated execution of this project.

This volume completes a final report on work done for the most part during the war period 1942 to 1946 under Contract NOrd-392.

E. H. Vestine, Department of Terrestrial Magnetism . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.