Spherical harmonic analysis (SHA) is the most used method of describing the Earth's magnetic field, even though spherical harmonic coefficients (SHC) almost completely defy interpretation in terms of real sources. Some moderately successful efforts have been made to represent the field in terms of dipoles placed in the core in an effort to have the model come closer to representing real sources. Dipole sources are only a first approximation to the real sources which are thought to be a very complicated network of electrical currents in the core of the Earth. -Author
Additional publication details
Circular current loops, magnetic dipoles and spherical harmonic analysis.