Working Group on Geomagnetic Data and Indices
   IUGG >  IAGA >  Division V >  Working Group V-DAT  >  Minutes

Report on the activities of I.S.G.I.
and of I.S.G.I. Publication Office

presented by Michel Menvielle
during the 8th IAGA Scientific Assembly

The basic activities of I.S.G.I., and of I.S.G.I. Publication Office are to prepare and circulate magnetic indices and other geomagnetic data, based on the report of magnetic observatories distributed all over the planet, with the help from the following I.S.G.I. Collaborating Institutes (see addresses in Appendix):

  • Centre d'étude des Environnements Terrestre et Planétaires (C.E.T.P./C.N.R.S.; am, Km, aa; Saint Maur, France)
  • WDC-C2 for Geomagnetism (Dst, AE; Kyoto, Japan)
  • GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) Potsdam (Kp, ap; Potsdam, Germany)
  • Observatorio del Ebro (Rapid Variations; Roquetes, Spain)

I.S.G.I. and I.S.G.I. Collaborating Institutes have the responsibility to ensure the homogeneity of the data series. I.S.G.I. has an Advisory Board, appointed by the Executive Committee of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (C. Barton, Australia, chair; T. Araki, Japan; R. Coles, Canada; M. Menvielle, France, ex officio).


Data dissemination: on-line services

The question of dissemination of geomagnetic indices through electronic network is at present our major concern. There is in fact a strong request from industrial and military communities to have preliminary values of geomagnetic indices available on line within very short delays. Some of them are asking to have them circulated within a one hour delay. On the other hand, it is very easy to make data available through electronic networks, and Institutes which are not part of I.S.G.I. may easily derive and circulate preliminary values of geomagnetic indices. This would be confusing, and would result in a dramatic loss of quality of geomagnetic indices. I.S.G.I. has then to face up two challenges:

  • establish a policy of dissemination of geomagnetic indices through electronic networks which prevents any confusing situation
  • ensure a quasi real time derivation and dissemination of reliable provisional I.A.G.A. geomagnetic indices.

As for the first point, discussions between representatives of I.S.G.I. Collaborating Institutes clearly pointed out that the I.S.G.I. label is actually the simplest and the safest way to guarantee the quality of circulated geomagnetic indices. The I.S.G.I. Collaborating Institutes therefore decided to quote their I.S.G.I. membership in all their publications and data bases.

As for the second point, the I.S.G.I. Publication Office (for K-derived planetary indices) and the WDC-C2 for Geomagnetism (for Dst and AE indices) are now routinely preparing and circulating quick-look values of geomagnetic indices within delays of the order of a few days.

The I.S.G.I. Publication Office also started operating a mail interface which allows users on remote computers to obtain geomagnetic indices from the I.S.G.I. data base by simply sending messages to the Internet address The new service is named IMAGINE, that is Interface for Mailing Automatically Geomagnetic INdices via Electronic networks. It has been established on the model of the automatic e_mail running at the INTERMAGNET GIN of Edinburgh, thanks to the kind co-operation of Simon Flower. It runs on computer at C.E.T.P.

All the am and aa data series are available on the server IMAGINE, quick look and provisional values of these indices being made available as soon as they are computed. am and aa indices expressed in terms of Kp units (Kpa and Kpm indices) are also made available on the server IMAGINE. The IMAGINE server is presented in notes which appeared in the IAGA News N°35 [pp. 45-46, July 1996] and N°36 [pp. 16-17, February 1997].

An I.S.G.I. WWW homepage is being developed in the frame of the C.E.T.P. homepage, with mirror link with each I.S.G.I. Collaborating Institutes WWW homepage. It will then be possible to have easily access to descriptions of I.A.G.A. indices, and to all the available data.

Data dissemination: printed Bulletins

In parallel with the development of the on-line facilities described in the previous section, the I.S.G.I. Publication Office and the I.S.G.I. Collaborating Institutes continue to issue printed bulletins. Therefore they ensure the circulation of data primarily through both printed bulletins and electronic network facilities. It is worth being underlined that these services are complementary. The on-line services ensures a rapid dissemination of provisional values of geomagnetic indices, while the printed bulletins make these basic data available to all the laboratories, even if they have no computer facilities for transferring data from World Data Centres. In order to help local digital access, diskettes at the PC format are now associated to each copy of the IAGA Bulletin 32.

All the printed bulletins described hereafter are available on request. Copies of former Bulletins relative to indices, coming from the former I.U.G.G. Publication Office in Paris and from De Bilt are gathered at the I.S.G.I. Publication Office. A list of still available Bulletins can be found in IAGA News N°32 [p. 41, December 1993].

The provisional values of geomagnetic indices are also sent to H. Coffey for publication in the Solar Geophysical Data NOAA/NGDC reports, and in Journal of Geophysical Research. The final values of geomagnetic indices are sent to World Data Centers from where they are also available.

The I.S.G.I. Publication Office circulates a monthly bulletin and the yearly IAGA Bulletin 32 series:

  • the monthly bulletin contains the provisional values of planetary magnetic indices (am, aa, Kp, and Dst), the list of the quiet magnetic days of the month and a preliminary report on remarkable magnetic events. The regular publication of the monthly bulletin resumed in 1994, after updating the bulletin contents and presentation. It is normally sent six to eight weeks after the end of the current month
  • the yearly IAGA Bulletin 32 series contain the definitive values of the I.A.G.A. indices and the list of remarkable magnetic events for the year. These bulletins are aimed to be published within a delay of about two years after the end of the year. Free copies are sent to contributing institutes; about 50 copies are kept at the I.S.G.I. Publication Office in Saint Maur for distribution to subscribers and for sale. In order to facilitate local digital access to the geomagnetic indices published in the IAGA Bulletin 32 series, we now add to each copy a floppy containing all the data published in the Bulletin. The IAGA Bulletin 32r (1987) and the followings were thus circulated with the corresponding floppy, and the floppies for the years 1981 to 1986 were also prepared. They are now available at the I.S.G.I. Publication Office. The present status of the publication of the IAGA Bulletins N°32 series is:
  • the IAGA Bulletins 32s (1988), 32t (1989), and 32u (1990) are now published
  • the IAGA Bulletins 32u (1991), 32v (1992), and 32w (1993) are likely to be published in December 1997 or January 1998. Copies of former Bulletins relative to indices, coming from the former IUGG Publication Office in Paris and from De Bilt are gathered at the ISGI Publication Office, and a list of still available Bulletins has been circulated.

Uppsala, August 1997


I.S.G.I. Collaborating Institutes

Centre d'Etude des environnements Terrestre et Planétaires (C.E.T.P.)
4, Avenue de Neptune

GeoForschungsZentrum (GFZ) Potsdam
Adolf-Schmidt observatorium für Geomagnetismus
Lindenstr., 7

Observatorio del Ebro
C. Horta Alta, 38

WDC-C2 for Geomagnetism
Faculty of Sciences
Kyoto University
KYOTO 606-01

For page content questions please contact: Michel Menvielle

    IUGG  >   IAGA  >   Division V  >   Working Group V-DAT