Articles | Volume 21, issue 5
Research article
22 Oct 2014
Research article |  | 22 Oct 2014

Complexity signatures in the geomagnetic H component recorded by the Tromsø magnetometer (70° N, 19° E) over the last quarter of a century

C. M. Hall

Abstract. Solar disturbances, depending on the orientation of the interplanetary magnetic field, typically result in perturbations of the geomagnetic field as observed by magnetometers on the ground. Here, the geomagnetic field's horizontal component, as measured by the ground-based observatory-standard magnetometer at Tromsø (70° N, 19° E), is examined for signatures of complexity. Twenty-five year-long 10 s resolution data sets are analysed for fluctuations with timescales of less than 1 day. Quantile–quantile plots are employed first, revealing that the fluctuations are better represented by Cauchy rather than Gaussian distributions. Thereafter, both spectral density and detrended fluctuation analysis methods are used to estimate values of the generalized Hurst exponent, α. The results are then compared with independent findings. Inspection and comparison of the spectral and detrended fluctuation analyses reveal that timescales between 1 h and 1 day are characterized by fractional Brownian motion with a generalized Hurst exponent of ~1.4, whereas including timescales as short as 1 min suggests fractional Brownian motion with a generalized Hurst exponent of ~1.6.