Satellite CHAMP successful

Ocean currents identified in magnetic field measurements for the first time

Magnetic Field Measurements © GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ)
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For the first time, scientists at the GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ), in cooperation with the University of Washington, have been able to map the magnetic signature of ocean tidal currents from the satellite (SCIENCE, January 10, 2003, Vol. 299, pp. 239-241).

For some time it has been suggested that the movement of the highly conductive seawater through the earth's magnetic field induces electrical currents, similar to a dynamo. This in turn generates secondary magnetic fields which are four to five orders of magnitude smaller than the primary field. For the first time, these secondary fields from outer space became visible in the highly accurate measurements of the GFZ research satellite CHAMP.

This opens up a new global observation possibility, which can supplement the previous methods of precise radar measurements of the dynamic sea level. In the future, satellite measurements of the magnetic field could make an important contribution to the improved monitoring of ocean currents worldwide.

(GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam (GFZ), January 10, 2003 - Dr. Nicole Schmidt / GFZ Potsdam)