Undergraduate Course: Geomagnetism (EASC10036)
Course Outline
School  School of Geosciences 
College  College of Science and Engineering 
Credit level (Normal year taken)  SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) 
Availability  Available to all students 
SCQF Credits  10 
ECTS Credits  5 
Summary  The course covers 4 topics:
1. The spatial and temporal characteristics of the geomagnetic field.
2. Theories of the origin of the geomagnetic field.
3. The solar atmosphere and the solar wind.
4. Applications of geomagnetism.

Course description 
Lecture 1: Introduction, sources of magnetic data.
Lecture 2: Potential representation, spherical harmonics.
Lecture 3: Internal/external fields, spherical harmonic analysis, IGRF/DGRF, geocentric dipole.
Lecture 4: Nondipole field, source spectrum and characteristics, Risk to technology.
Lecture 5: Introduction to time variations of internal field and sources of data, Observatory records, secular variation.
Lecture 6: Magnetic properties of rocks, paleomagnetism, archaeomagnetism, lake sediment records, normal and reversed NRM, field reversal, interpretation of geology from crustal field maps.
Lecture 7: Reversal timescale, lava flows, deep ocean sediments, marine magnetic anomalies, ancient field
Lecture 8: Theories of the origin of the earth's magnetic field, disk dynamo.
Lecture 9: Maxwell's equations, quasistatic approximation.
Lecture 10: Application of magnetohydrodynamics to the core, diffusion and frozen flux approximations, magnetic Reynolds number.
Lecture 11: Dynamo theory, effect, kinematic dynamo problem.
Lecture 12: NavierStokes equation, steady slow motion solution, ProudmanTaylor theorem, weak and strong field dynamos.
Lecture 13: Energy sources for the geodynamo.
Lecture 14: Disk Dynamos and Reversals.
Lecture 15: Solar atmosphere and wind.
Lecture 16: Solar magnetic field, solar cycle and the solar wind structure.

Information for Visiting Students
Prerequisites  It is RECOMMENDED that students have covered vector calculus, and ideally also the basics of electromagnetism. 
High Demand Course? 
Yes 
Course Delivery Information

Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1)

Quota: None 
Course Start 
Semester 2 
Timetable 
Timetable 
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) 
Total Hours:
100
(
Lecture Hours 16,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 6,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
72 )

Assessment (Further Info) 
Written Exam
70 %,
Coursework
30 %,
Practical Exam
0 %

Additional Information (Assessment) 
Written Exam: 70%, Course Work: 30%, Practical Exam: 0%.
Assessment Deadlines
Course Work: Tuesday Week 5
Written Exam Semester 2, May Exam Diet
Students must attain an overall mark of 40% (or above) to pass the course.

Feedback 
Students have the opportunity to submit problem sheet questions and computerbased exercises solutions for feedback. The answers are also discussed in tutorials. 
Exam Information 
Exam Diet 
Paper Name 
Hours & Minutes 

Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)   1:00  
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
 Students are expected to leave this course with an integrated, critical understanding of the physical and mathematical basis of Geomagnetism.
 Students are expected to have detailed understanding the spatial and temporal characteristics of the geomagnetic field; theories of the origin of the geomagnetic field; the solar atmosphere and the solar wind; applications of geomagnetism.
 Through prerequisite reading, students are expected to develop an understanding of the subjects development and gain insight into the range of data types and techniques of enquiry employed in this field.
 Problem sheets and computerbased exercises will help reinforce mathematical understanding and ability to manipulate data.
 Students are expected to be able to analyse complex problems and be able to demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with professional level issues in the field of geomagnetism.

Reading List
Most important first
Campbell, W.H. Introduction to Geomagnetic Fields (2nd Edition), Cambridge University Press, 2003.
Jacobs, J.A. (Editor), Geomagnetism (4 vols), Academic Press, 1987.
Kivelson, M.G. and Russell, C.T. Introduction to Space Physics, Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Merill, R.T., McElhinny, M.W. and McFadden, P.L. The Magnetic Field of the Earth Paleomagnetism; the Core and the Deep Mantle. Academic Press, 1996.
Parkinson, W.D. Introduction to Geomagnetism, Scottish Academic Press; 1983.
Gubbins, .D. and HerreroBervera E. (Editors), Encyclopaedia of Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism, Springer, 2007.
Merrill, R., Our Magnetic Earth: The Science of Geomagnetism, University of Chicago Press, 2012.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 
Not entered 
Keywords  Geomagnetism 
Contacts
Course organiser  Prof Kathy Whaler
Tel: (0131 6)50 4904
Email: Kathy.Whaler@ed.ac.uk 
Course secretary  Mr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
Email: johan.deklerk@ed.ac.uk 

