Observing our Magnetic World: When Theory Follows Space Measurements with Mioara Mandea (CNES, France)

Over the last decades, the convergence of novel approaches has led to substantial progress in our understanding of the Earth’s magnetic field characteristics and properties. These advancements have been possible due to the high quality geomagnetic data, which have been obtained either from ground magnetic observatories or from dedicated satellite missions. A radical move took place in 1980, after the launch of the very first satellite carrying a vector magnetometer to measure the full magnetic field, MAGSAT. The state-of-the-art has dramatically changed with measurements obtained from the Oersted, CHAMP, SAC-C satellites, and mostly with the recent ESA Swarm mission, launched in 2013. An overview of these space missions and of our present understanding of the geomagnetic field is given, covering commonly accepted and some of the more controversial aspects. The geomagnetic observations have been crucial in developing new insights and new theories, and a few aspects of the Earth’s deep and shallow processes grasped by the magnetic field are presented, in closest relation with some other geophysical data.

Mioara Mandea is currently the Programme Manager for Solid Earth at the Directorate for Innovation, Applications and Science at Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales in Paris (French Space Agency). Over recent decades, she has been involved in many activities of the International Association of Geomagnetism and Aeronomy (both Secretary General and President), European Geosciences Union (General Secretary and Chair of Outreach Committee), American Geophysical Union (Chair of Education Award Committee), International Space Science Institute (Chair of Science Committee), Commission for the Geological Map of the World (President of the Sub-commission of Geophysical maps), to name the most important. Mioara Mandea has published more than 250 papers, has been involved in organising many workshops and conferences, and has also led several multi-partner research projects or work packages within projects at different national and EU levels. Mioara Mandea is member of the Academy of Romanian Scientists, Academia Europea, Académie Royale de Belgique, Russian Academy of Science. She received the International Award of AGU, the Petrus Peregrinus medal of EGU, and the prestigious French “Ordre National de Mérite” (more information on www.mioara-mandea.eu).

Seminar was recorded on February 18, 2021