The new International Geomagnetic Reference Field (IGRF) model of the main geomagnetic field for 1980 is based heavily on measurements from the MAGSAT satellite survey. Assessment of the accuracy of the new model, as a description of the main field near the Earth's surface, is important because the accuracy of models derived from satellite data can be adversely affected by the magnetic field of electric currents in the ionosphere and the auroral zones. Until now, statements about its accuracy have been based on the 6 published assessments of the 2 proposed models from which it was derived. However, those assessments were either regional in scope or were based mainly on preliminary or extrapolated data. Here we assess the near-surface accuracy of the new model by comparing it with values for 1980 derived from annual means from 69 magnetic observatories, and by comparing it with WC80, a model derived from near-surface data. The comparison with observatory-derived data shows that the new model describes the field at the 69 observatories about as accurately as would a model derived solely from near-surface data. The comparison with WC80 shows that the 2 models agree closely in their description of D and I near the surface. These comparisons support the proposition that the new IGRF 1980 main-field model is a generally accurate description of the main field near the Earth's surface in 1980. ?? 1985.
Additional publication details
An assessment of the near-surface accuracy of the international geomagnetic reference field 1980 model of the main geomagnetic field