Love, Jeffrey J. U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado.
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A specially designed ground-based facility that provides measurements of the Earth's magnetic field, often with high accuracy and temporal resolution for decades of time or longer. Data from magnetic observatories record a superposition of time-dependent signals related to a fantastic diversity of physical phenomena in the Earth's core, mantle, lithosphere, ocean, ionosphere, magnetosphere, and, even, the Sun and solar wind. Magnetic-observatory data are often used for scientific research, but recently they are also becoming increasingly important for practical applications, space-weather monitoring, and hazard mitigation. Today, magnetic observatories around the world are operated by a variety of government and academic institutions, sometimes in collaboration with private companies. An example of a magnetic observatory is shown in Fig. 1. See also: Atmosphere; Earth interior; Solar wind; Sun
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