A southern Africa harmonic spline core field model derived from CHAMP satellite data

E. Nahayo*, P. B. Kotze, H. McCreadie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The monitoring of the Earth's magnetic field time variation requires a continuous recording of geomagnetic data with a good spatial coverage over the area of study. In southern Africa, ground recording stations are limited and the use of satellite data is needed for the studies where high spatial resolution data is required. We show the fast time variation of the geomagnetic field in the southern Africa region by deriving an harmonic spline model from CHAMP satellite measurements recorded between 2001 and 2010. The derived core field model, the Southern Africa Regional Model (SARM), is compared with the global model GRIMM-2 and the ground based data recorded at Hermanus magnetic observatory (HER) in South Africa and Tsumeb magnetic observatory (TSU) in Namibia where the focus is mainly on the long term variation of the geomagnetic field. The results of this study suggest that the regional model derived from the satellite data alone can be used to study the small scale features of the time variation of the geomagnetic field where ground data is not available. In addition, these results also support the earlier findings of the occurrence of a 2007 magnetic jerk and rapid secular variation fluctuations of 2003 and 2004 in the region. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Early online date10 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - 01 Feb 2015


  • Harmonic splines
  • Regional geomagnetic field modelling
  • Secular variation
  • Magnetic satellite data


Dive into the research topics of 'A southern Africa harmonic spline core field model derived from CHAMP satellite data'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this