COMMUNICATION AND COORDINATION
From meetings and discussions that led to the National Geomagnetic Initiative Workshop, communication and coordination emerged as an essential element in geomagnetic research. Initially, attention was focused on benefits of communication and coordination among activities and programs of federal agencies. As planning for the workshop progressed, it became clear that the entire geomagnetic community should be involved.
International Scientific Unions and Programs
The study of the Earth is intrinsically global. This was recognized by geologists, geodesists, and geophysicists in the nineteenth century. During the past hundred years, the need for global collaboration in geosciences has become axiomatic; many mechanisms have been developed to encourage international cooperation in Earth sciences. Much international cooperation in science takes place under the nongovernmental International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU).
By the latter part of the nineteenth century, international expeditions and exchange of data were common in the geosciences. This led to development of international mechanisms for ongoing cooperation in geophysical and geological sciences. Seismic and magnetic observatories were being established worldwide. These de facto global networks of magnetic and seismic observatories led to international agreements on measurement standards and data exchange. These international activities led to the formation of an international organization that was the predecessor of the modern International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG). The objectives of IUGG are the promotion and coordination
Page 69of physical, chemical, and mathematical studies of the Earth and geospace environment. IUGG now consists of seven essentially autonomous associations; one of these, the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (IAGA), is principally concerned with geomagnetism.
International collaboration in the study of the Earth received a major boost from the International Geophysical Year (IGY), which took place from 1957 to 1959. There were at least two major legacies of the IGY: first, the IGY demonstrated the possibility for international cooperation among all countries in a scientific endeavor of common interest and value. Second, the World Data Center System was established. Geomagnetism was a major program of the IGY.
From IGY to the present, geomagnetism has been a major or significant component of many international programs and organizations. Two bodies with major interests in geomagnetism were established in the 1960s: the ICSU Scientific Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the ICSU Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics (SCOSTEP). Both of these bodies sponsor programs involving geomagnetism. The International Magnetospheric Study took place from 1976 to 1979. The Solar-Terrestrial Energy Program (STEP) of SCOSTEP is an important current program.
The International Lithosphere Program (ILP), which was instituted by IUGG and IUGS (International Union of Geological Sciences) in 1980 as the successor to the International Geodynamics Project, seeks to elucidate the nature, dynamics, origin, and evolution of the lithosphere, with special attention to the continents and their margins.
The International Lithosphere Program is being carried out under the guidance of the Inter-Union Commission on the Lithosphere (ICL), which was established under the auspices of ICSU. The ILP includes a broad array of topics that naturally call for collaborative efforts between geologists and geophysicists. Emphasis has been given to “key projects.” Geomagnetic problems play a role in several of the ILP key projects.
IUGG also established the SEDI (Studies of the Earth's Deep Interior) program. The SEDI program has a major concern with the Earth's geomagnetic field and dynamo processes. A corresponding
Page 70national program, Cooperative Studies of the Earth's Deep Interior (CSEDI), has been proposed by NSF.
International scientific organizations such as IUGG (particularly IAGA and the SEDI program), SCOSTEP, COSPAR, and ICL have activities closely related to various aspects of the geomagnetic initiative and would provide forums for international presentation of the results.
National and International Activities
Geomagnetic research and development in the United States draws its constituents from a multidisciplinary base of geophysicists, physicists, and geologists affiliated with the major scientific institutions (academia, state and federal agencies, and private industry) throughout the country. Research programs are presently supported by NSF, USGS, DOE, NOAA, NASA, and DOD (through the Navy, the Air Force, and the Defense Mapping Agency). The missions of these agencies encompass a wide variety of geomagnetic research and development activities. These activities include producing global magnetic charts; monitoring and predicting the effects on satellite electronics and space communications of magnetic disturbances, radiation, and particle fluxes in the magnetosphere; and magnetic navigation. The basic research activities supported by the federal agencies include all four areas of geomagnetic research outlined in this report: main field and core processes, electromagnetic induction in the solid Earth and oceans, lithospheric magnetic anomalies, and magnetospheric and ionospheric processes.
Magnetic information for charts and maps is developed by USGS, NOAA, and the Navy. The Navy and NOAA (and the Coast Guard) are responsible for maintaining and improving navigational safety; the Navy provides magnetic information for this purpose. Magnetic models of the geomagnetic field are developed by the Navy (in conjunction with the British Geological Survey), NASA, and USGS. The models developed by these three organizations are the main inputs to the International Geomagnetic Reference Field, produced every 5 years by the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy.
Magnetic imaging of the Earth is a new initiative that requires parallel initiatives in data acquisition, dissemination, and synthesis. Clearly, there will be scientific and practical benefits in making this a collaborative effort among a number of the major agencies, including NASA, NSF, USGS, NOAA, the Navy, Air Force, and DOE. All of these agencies now perform geomagnetic research that could benefit from the improved communication and coordination envisioned in this geomagnetic initiative.
Lithospheric magnetic anomalies are studied by NASA, NSF-sponsored academic scientists, the USGS, and industry geologists and geophysicists. Some work in this area is also sponsored by the Navy and NOAA. Magnetic induction studies are supported by NOAA (from the Climate and Global Change Program), USGS, DOE, DOD, and NSF.
The geoscience community has established a fertile environment within which geomagnetic studies can flourish. A number of national and international groups have established clear research priorities focusing on studies of the Earth's lithosphere. This includes exploration and assessment of natural resources (for example, minerals, hydrocarbons, and ground water), characterization of the crust for waste repositories, scientific drilling of the oceanic and continental crust, a new national program in continental dynamics, the MARGINS and RIDGE programs (Margins: A Research Initiative for Interdisciplinary Studies of Processes Attending Lithospheric Extension and Conversion; Ridge Inter-Disciplinary Global Experiments), and international projects in collaboration with Japanese, Italian, and French groups, and with the European Space Agency involving low-altitude, Earth-orbiting geopotential satellites.
Major scientific advances in geomagnetic research require cooperation. Nationally, this cooperation must involve the entire geomagnetic community, especially federal and state agencies having related interests. Internationally, the advantages of cooperation include: (1) greater scientific insight and better direction to programs through the involvement of larger groups of scientists, and (2) reduced costs for each country. Many aspects of the geomagnetic initiative discussed elsewhere in this report are appropriate for national and international cooperation. Many
Page 72U.S. government agencies have an interest in geomagnetic phenomena and data.
Geopotential-field satellite programs are currently being discussed by DOD, NASA, and agencies in several other countries. A possible mode for implementing a satellite mission to study the Earth's magnetic field might be through collaboration between two or more countries. ARISTOTELES 1 now under active consideration by the European Space Agency, is an example. The advantages and disadvantages of such interdependence need to be carefully considered. Other complementary programs are also under discussion or are in place, such as SEDI in the solid-Earth community, the Ocean Drilling Program in the marine geology community, the Global Environmental Modeling program in the solar-terrestrial physics community, and the INTERMAGNET project. The geomagnetic initiative also complements projects that ICSU bodies are discussing for the 1990s, particularly the integrative programs for studying the Earth from its interior to near space (Mission to Planet Earth), as well as studies related to the temporal and spatial changes of the Earth's environment over time scales of years, decades, and perhaps centuries (the Global Change Program). Geomagnetic studies are an essential component of these activities.
Communication and coordination are basic factors in the effectiveness of national and international scientific activities. The concept of the national geomagnetic initiative emphasizes the further importance of communication and coordination among national and international activities related to geomagnetic research.
The diverse elements of the scientific community concerned with geomagnetism—federal and state agencies, academia, industry, national scientific societies, and international bodies concerned with relevant
Page 73international scientific programs—have a clear opportunity to make their own activities more effective through the types of cooperation and coordination envisioned for the national geomagnetic initiative. 1 See footnote 2 in Chapter 4 of this report regarding the status of ARISTOTELES.
As part of this initiative, special attention should be given to maintaining and improving communication and coordination among the diverse activities in geomagnetism in federal and state agencies, the academic community, and industry—with a view toward encouraging improved efficiencies and fulfillment of goals in research and applications. This effort should include a provision for ongoing discussions of the needs and activities of the disparate elements of geomagnetism, especially the programs of government agencies. It should also include a provision for establishing interdisciplinary task groups involving the scientific and engineering communities that will organize, design, and implement specific research programs.