Spherical Cap Harmonic Modelling of 400 Years of Secular Variation in the South-west Pacific

Friday, 19 December 2014
Malcolm Ingham1, Maha Alfheid1, Elizabeth M Ingham2 and Gillian M Turner3, (1)Victoria University of Wellington, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Wellington, New Zealand, (2)Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia, (3)Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand
Historical magnetic data recorded in ship’s logs on voyages of exploration and trade in the south-west Pacific have been used as a basis for constructing a model of secular variation in the region using spherical cap harmonic (SCH) analysis. The spherical cap used is centred on colatitude 115° and longitude 160° and has a radius of 50°, thus covering New Zealand, Australia and parts of Antarctica. Gaps in the observational data have been filled by an iterative procedure started by using IGRF field values to obtain SCH models for 2000, 1950 and 1900 and assuming that the spherical cap coefficients have a linear variation in time over the 400 year time period of the model, as is observed to a first approximation for Gauss coefficients calculated from a global spherical harmonic analysis. The resulting field models have generally smooth spatial and temporal variations in declination, inclination and intensity which show some differences from the variations calculated using the global spherical harmonic model gufm1. The technique clearly shows promise for producing more refined models of secular variation in the south-west Pacific when the historical data are supplemented by archeomagnetic and paleomagnetic data.