The CHAOS-7 geomagnetic field model and observed changes in the South Atlantic Anomaly

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We present the CHAOS-7 model of the time-dependent near-Earth geomagnetic field between 1999 and 2020 based on magnetic field observations collected by the low-Earth orbit satellites Swarm, CryoSat-2, CHAMP, SAC-C and Ørsted, and on annual differences of monthly means of ground observatory measurements. The CHAOS-7 model consists of a time-dependent internal field up to spherical harmonic degree 20, a static internal field which merges to the LCS-1 lithospheric field model above degree 25, a model of the magnetospheric field and its induced counterpart, estimates of Euler angles describing the alignment of satellite vector magnetometers, and magnetometer calibration parameters for CryoSat-2. Only data from dark regions satisfying strict geomagnetic quiet-time criteria (including conditions on IMF Bz and By at all latitudes) were used in the field estimation. Model parameters were estimated using an iteratively reweighted regularized least-squares procedure; regularization of the time-dependent internal field was relaxed at high spherical harmonic degree compared with previous versions of the CHAOS model. We use CHAOS-7 to investigate recent changes in the geomagnetic field, studying the evolution of the South Atlantic weak field anomaly and rapid field changes in the Pacific region since 2014. At Earth’s surface a secondary minimum of the South Atlantic Anomaly is now evident to the south west of Africa. Green’s functions relating the core–mantle boundary radial field to the surface intensity show this feature is connected with the movement and evolution of a reversed flux feature under South Africa. The continuing growth in size and weakening of the main anomaly is linked to the westward motion and gathering of reversed flux under South America. In the Pacific region at Earth’s surface between 2015 and 2018 a sign change has occurred in the second time derivative (acceleration) of the radial component of the field. This acceleration change took the form of a localized, east–west oriented, dipole. It was clearly recorded on ground, for example at the magnetic observatory at Honolulu, and was seen in Swarm observations over an extended region in the central and western Pacific. Downward continuing to the core–mantle boundary, we find this event originated in field acceleration changes at low latitudes beneath the central and western Pacific in 2017.[Figure not available: see fulltext.].




Finlay, C. C., Kloss, C., Olsen, N., Hammer, M. D., Tøffner-Clausen, L., Grayver, A., & Kuvshinov, A. (2020). The CHAOS-7 geomagnetic field model and observed changes in the South Atlantic Anomaly. Earth, Planets and Space, 72(1).

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