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Authors: De Michelis, P.* 
Cafarella, L.* 
Meloni, A.* 
Title: A global analysis of the 1991 geomagnetic jerk
Issue Date: Dec-2000
Series/Report no.: 3 / 143 (2000)
Keywords: geomagnetic variation
Subject Classification04. Solid Earth::04.05. Geomagnetism::04.05.02. Geomagnetic field variations and reversals 
Abstract: A recent examination of the geomagnetic annual mean values for the European magnetic observatories has shown the existence of a sudden change in the secular acceleration in about 1991 (Cafarella & Meloni 1995; Macmillian 1996). Using first differences of the Y (east geomagnetic field component) mean values from 74 observatories, the worldwide character of the 1991 impulse has been determined (De Michelis et al. 1998). Using data from 109 observatories widely distributed all over the world, the structure of the secular variation for the X (north) and Z (vertical) magnetic field intensities around 1990 was investigated, and evidence of this most recent jerk was found. External effects were removed from the annual mean data by comparing the long-term variations of the geomagnetic field components at individual observatories with the long-term variations of two geomagnetic indices, aa and Dst, and of a solar index, the Wolf number R. A careful analysis has been carried out on the amplitude of the external disturbance, on its dependence on latitude, and on the weights of the geomagnetic indices in the evaluation of the resulting external field. The secular variation has been evaluated from the corrected annual means. Around 1990, the secular variation can be fitted at many observatories by two straight lines with a sudden and marked change in slope. In this manner the jerk occurrence time and the intensity of the step in the second time derivative (∆X", ∆Y" and ∆Z") were computed. Maps of ∆X", ∆Y" and ∆Z" provide information on the worldwide intensity distribution of the examined event. Maps of the jerk occurrence-time distributions are also given. The mean jerk occurrence time is 1990.1±0.6. Finally, a spherical harmonic analysis was used to complete the quantitative description of this phenomenon in order to study the trend of the energy density spectrum as a function of the harmonic degree n.
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