Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Modelling Secular Variation in the Southwest Pacific for the last 400 years

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posted on 2021-11-14, 22:43 authored by Alfheid, Maha Ali

A spherical cap harmonic analysis (SCHA) model has been used to derive a high-resolution regional model of the geomagnetic field in the southwest Pacific region over the past 400 years. Two different methods, a self-consistent and the gufm1 dipole method, have been used to fill in gaps in the available data.  The data used in the analysis were largely measurements of the magnetic field recorded in ships logs on voyages of exploration in the region. The method chosen for the investigation used a spherical cap of radius 𝜃₀ = 50° centered at co-latitude and longitude of (115°, 160°). The results of each method used for SCHA are presented as contour plots of magnetic field declination, inclination and intensity and are compared with similar plots for a global model, gufm1. The root mean square misfit of the self- consistent and gufm1 dipole model to the actual data were around 2900 nT and 23000 nT respectively.  Overall, the results suggest that the self-consistent model produces a more reliable model of the geomagnetic field within the area of interest than does the gufm1 dipole model. With more data included the self-consistent model could be further improved and used to develop a high-resolution mathematical model of the geomagnetic field in the southwest Pacific region.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

970102 Expanding Knowledge in the Physical Sciences

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences


Ingham, Malcolm; Turner, Gillian