Estimation of Electric Fields and Currents from Ground-Based Magnetometer Data

  1. Thomas A. Potemra
  1. Y. Kamide and
  2. A. D. Richmond

Published Online: 21 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM028p0067

Magnetospheric Currents

Magnetospheric Currents

How to Cite

Kamide, Y. and Richmond, A. D. (1984) Estimation of Electric Fields and Currents from Ground-Based Magnetometer Data, in Magnetospheric Currents (ed T. A. Potemra), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM028p0067

Author Information

  1. NOAA/ERL Space Environment Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado 80303

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1984

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875900551

Online ISBN: 9781118664131



  • Magnetospheric currents—Congresses;
  • Plasma instabilities—Congresses


We review and evaluate recent advances in numerical algorithms for estimating ionospheric electric fields and currents from groundbased magnetometer data. Tests of the adequacy of one such algorithm in reproducing large-scale patterns of electrodynamic parameters in he high-latitude ionosphere have yielded generally positive results, at least for some simple cases. We point out some encouraging advances in producing realistic conductivity models, which are a critical input. When the algorithms are applied to extensive data sets, such as the ones from meridian chain magnetometer networks during the IMS, together with refined conductivity models, unique information on instantaneous electric field and current patterns can be obtained. Examples of electric potentials, ionospheric currents, field-aligned currents, and Joule heating distributions derived from ground magnetic data are presented. Possible directions for future improvements are also pointed out.