BGS Research

Aurora Borealis by Stein Egil Liland

The BGS’s geomagnetism science capability measures, records, models and interprets variations in the Earth’s magnetic field. Our data and research help to develop scientific understanding of the solid Earth and its atmospheric and space environments and help to extend our knowledge of geomagnetic hazards and their effects. We also provide a range of geomagnetic data, products and services to industry and academia and we use our insights and knowledge to inform the public, government and industry.

Our remit includes continuous geomagnetic monitoring across the UK. We therefore operate three geomagnetic observatories in the UK, located in Lerwick (Shetland), Eskdalemuir (Scottish Borders) and Hartland (north Devon). We also operate magnetic observatories overseas: at Ascension Island and Sable Island (Canada), Port Stanley (Falkland Islands) and King Edward Point (South Georgia). We also oversee and maintain magnetic observatory operations at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (USA) and Fort McMurray, Alberta (Canada).

Our observatory work and the data we collect are just part of our core function, which is:

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Long-term geomagnetic monitoring and allied research to improve our understanding of the Earth and its geomagnetic processes, environments and hazards.

In support of this core function, we aim to be recognised internationally as a world leader in:

To find out more, please visit

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