Based on the cooperation between GFZ (Germany) and Obsevatorio Nacional MCT (Brazil), a new geomagnetic observatory in Central Brazil compliant to INTERMAGNET standards shall be established. Geomagnetic observatories, continuously recording the geomagnetic field and its variations, provide essential data for studies of the Earth's deep interior and of the evolution of the geomagnetic field shielding our habitat against space weather influences, e.g., biohazardous cosmic radiation. They are complementary to modern magnetic satellite missions due to the different observation altitudes and spatio-temporal sampling of the field. Brazil is located in the South Atlantic Anomaly zone where the field strength is the weakest on the Earth's surface, significantly weaker than at comparable latitudes. In case of solar storms problems on satellites and navigation systems occur just in this region where the density of observatories is low. Moreover, the field strength is currently strongly decreasing in this region, linked to reverse magnetic flux at the top of the Earth's core. This likely plays an important role in the presently observed strong global dipole moment decay. New observations from this region are vital to improve our understanding of the underlying processes and improve space weather monitoring. We propose to establish a new geomagnetic observatory near Brasilia to best complement the existing global INTERMAGNET network making available near real-time data - of state-of-the-art quality - as required for scientific studies.
This project is funded by the International Bureau of the BMBF www.internationales-buero.de