Articles | Volume 24, issue 12
21 Dec 2006
 | 21 Dec 2006

Correcting the geomagnetic IHV index of the Eskdalemuir observatory

D. Martini and K. Mursula

Abstract. We study here the recently proposed measure of local geomagnetic activity called the IHV (Inter-Hour Variability) index calculated for the Eskdalemuir (ESK) station. It was found earlier that the ESK IHV index depicts an artificial, step-like increase from 1931 to 1932. We show here that this increase is due to the fact that the values of the magnetic field components of the ESK observatory stored at the World Data Center are two-hour running averages of hourly data stored in ESK yearbooks. Two-hour averaging greatly reduces the variability of the data which leads to artificially small values of the IHV index in 1911–1931. We also study the effect of two-hour averaging upon hourly mean and spot values using 1-minute data available for recent years, and calculate the correction factors for the early years, taking into account the weak dependence of correction factors on solar activity. Using these correction factors, we correct the ESK IHV indices in 1912–1931, and revise the estimate of the centennial change based on them. The effect of correction is very significant: the centennial increase in the ESK IHV-raw (IHV-cor) index in 1912–2000 changes from 73.9% (134.4%) before correction to 10.3% (25.3%) thereafter, making the centennial increase at ESK quite similar to other mid-latitude stations. Obviously, earlier long-term studies based on ESK IHV values are affected by the correction and need to be revised. These results also strongly suggest that the ESK yearbook data should be digitized and the hourly ESK data at WDC should be replaced by them.