Magnetic field data correction in space for modelling the lithospheric magnetic field

The Earth’s magnetic field as it is measured by low-Earth orbit satellites such as Swarm and CHAMP results from the superposition of internal and external source fields overlapping in time and in space. The Earth’s lithospheric field is one of the weakest sources detectable from space and its accurate description requires treatments of rapidly-varying magnetic fields generated by current systems in the ionosphere and magnetosphere. In this paper, we review methods most commonly used in geomagnetism to identify and then to correct for the external perturbation fields at satellite altitudes. We document the pros and cons of Fourier Filtering, polynomial and Spherical Harmonics analyses, Singular Spectral Analysis (SSA) and Line-levelling techniques. The difficulties are illustrated with an application of the methods on a common set of real Swarm magnetic field measurements and with a discussion on the differences between lithospheric field models obtained with each treatment. We finally discuss some perspectives for improvements of external field correction techniques relying on statistical or more explicit assumptions about the geographical distribution as well as the shape and strengths of the external magnetic field structures.


Publication status:
Authors: Thébault, E., Lesur, V., Kauristie, K., Shore, R. ORCIDORCID record for R. Shore

On this site: Rob Shore
1 March, 2017
Space Science Reviews / 206
Link to published article: