Introduction and Policy Outline of the Facilities

Geomagnetic fields control space plasma phenomena and influence our life.

Data Service: Data Analysis Center for Geomagnetism and Space Magnetism operates the World Data Center (WDC) for geomagnetism, Kyoto. The WDC is a regular member of the World Data System (WDS) which is an Interdisciplinary Body of the International Council for Science (ICSU). As WDC, we promote the collection of geomagnetic observation data of the entire world, a data service for researchers, and education and research utilizing those data. Our geomagnetic data service has the best facilities in the world in terms of both quality and quantity.


Education and Research: Using collected data and original observation along with analytic research of plasma physics phenomena occurring in outer space around the earth, we predict the structure and formation mechanisms of currents flowing in outer space, the origin and propagation mechanism of plasma waves, and the electromagnetic structure of mantles. We also promote comprehensive analyses of the origin and variation of geomagnetic field.


What is Geomagnetic Field?: The geomagnetic field is like a magnet oriented South-North. There were many occasions in the past that the N-pole of a magnetic compass pointed toward not the north but the south. We call the temporal geomagnetic variation with a timescale of 10 - 1,000 years as ‘secular variation’ in which strength as well as direction of the geomagnetic field vary. Both geomagnetic field itself and its secular variation are almost caused by the currents flowing in the Earth’s core. On the contrary, the variation of less than about 10 years period is caused by the currents flowing external of the Earth. ‘Geomagnetic storms’ have a duration of several days, during which the geomagnetic field is severely disturbed from the normal. There is another phenomenon called a ‘substorm’, in which the geomagnetic field in the polar region is perturbed by strong electric currents flowing in the upper atmosphere with a timescale of tens of minutes. Bright auroras show intense variations at the time of substorms. In addition, the geomagnetic field shows daily variations because of the Earth’s rotation.


Research Fields:
Space Plasma Physics / Upper Atmospheric Physics / Electromagnetism in the Earth's Interior / Physics and Informatics of Natural Electromagnetic Environment