Geomagnetic secular variation changes in Southern Africa during the SWARM period 2013 - 2018

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Pieter B. Kotzé


Geomagnetic field observations from 4 magnetic observatories located in Southern Africa located at Hermanus (HER), Hartebeesthoek (HBK), Keetmanshoop (KMH) and Tsumeb (TSU) have been analysed with the main purpose to identify abrupt secular variation changes on time scales of less than 1 year. Removal of an annual variation resulting from large-scale magnetospheric and ionospheric currents by means of 12-month differences of the respective observatory monthly mean of northward component X, eastward component Y and vertical component Z, revealed clear evidence of several geomagnetic secular variation changes that took place in this region during the period between 2013 and 2018. The geomagnetic field model CHAOS6-x7, based exclusively on SWARM satellite and magnetic observatory data during this period, has been used to determine secular acceleration patterns across Southern Africa. The results obtained revealed that the observed secular variation changes took place over a range of strengths in the respective X, Y and Z components at every magnetic observatory. In addition, the respective observatories in the region also exhibited strong individual characteristics. The findings in this investigation show once again that the southern African region is characterised by unpredictable abrupt geomagnetic secular variation changes that have the potential to render linear prediction models less accurate.

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How to Cite
Kotzé PB. Geomagnetic secular variation changes in Southern Africa during the SWARM period 2013 - 2018. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2020May26 [cited 2022Jul.6];63(2):PA212. Available from:
Physics of the Atmosphere
Author Biography

Pieter B. Kotzé, South African National Space Agency

Senior Research Fellow