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Rules of the Road

SuperMAG is made possible by the generous contribution by a long list of collaborators. To ensure their continued operation the user must follow the below rules-of-the-road. Data, plots or derived data products are provided under the limitations of "fair use" and cannot be redistributed. Contact the individual instrument PI and the SuperMAG PI for requests that are in conflict with these restrictions.

The user is requested to acknowledge individual collaborators and SuperMAG when original data, derived data, movies, or data products are used in publications and/or presentations.

In all cases:

  1. Include acknowledgement as listed on the SuperMAG website.
  2. Include references to a technical papers for stations used.
  3. Include SuperMAG reference: Gjerloev, J. W. (2012), The SuperMAG data processing technique, J. Geophys. Res., 117, A09213, doi:10.1029/2012JA017683.

In cases that a few stations play a key role and their data are central to the scientific conclusion of the paper:

  1. Offer of co-authorship to the PI (or PIs) of those stations.


For the ground magnetometer data we gratefully acknowledge: Intermagnet; USGS, Jeffrey J. Love; CARISMA, PI Ian Mann; CANMOS; The S-RAMP Database, PI K. Yumoto and Dr. K. Shiokawa; The SPIDR database; AARI, PI Oleg Troshichev; The MACCS program, PI M. Engebretson, Geomagnetism Unit of the Geological Survey of Canada; GIMA; MEASURE, UCLA IGPP and Florida Institute of Technology; SAMBA, PI Eftyhia Zesta; 210 Chain, PI K. Yumoto; SAMNET, PI Farideh Honary; The institutes who maintain the IMAGE magnetometer array, PI Eija Tanskanen; PENGUIN; AUTUMN, PI Martin Connors; DTU Space, PI Dr. Rico Behlke; South Pole and McMurdo Magnetometer, PI's Louis J. Lanzarotti and Alan T. Weatherwax; ICESTAR; RAPIDMAG; PENGUIn; British Artarctic Survey; McMac, PI Dr. Peter Chi; BGS, PI Dr. Susan Macmillan; Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio Wave Propagation (IZMIRAN); GFZ, PI Dr. Juergen Matzka; MFGI, PI B. Heilig; IGFPAS, PI J. Reda; University of L’Aquila, PI M. Vellante; BCMT, V. Lesur and A. Chambodut; Data obtained in cooperation with Geoscience Australia, PI Marina Costelloe; SuperMAG, PI Jesper W. Gjerloev.

References (alphabetically):

Lichtenberger J., M. Clilverd, B. Heilig, M. Vellante, J. Manninen, C. Rodger, A. Collier, A. Jørgensen, J. Reda, R. Holzworth, and R. Friedel (2013), The plasmasphere during a space weather event: first results from the PLASMON project, J. Space Weather Space Clim., 3, A23 (

IMAGE Chain:
Tanskanen, E.I. (2009), A comprehensive high-throughput analysis of substorms observed by IMAGE magnetometer network: Years 1993-2003 examined, 114, A05204, doi:10.1029/2008JA013682.

Engebretson, M. J., W. J. Hughes, J. L. Alford, E. Zesta, L. J. Cahill, Jr., R. L. Arnoldy, and G. D. Reeves (1995), Magnetometer array for cusp and cleft studies observations of the spatial extent of broadband ULF magnetic pulsations at cusp/cleft latitudes , J. Geophys. Res., 100, 19371-19386, doi:10.1029/95JA00768.

McMAC Chain:
Chi, P. J., M. J. Engebretson, M. B. Moldwin, C. T. Russell, I. R. Mann, M. R. Hairston, M. Reno, J. Goldstein, L. I. Winkler, J. L. Cruz-Abeyro, D.-H. Lee, K.Yumoto, R. Dalrymple, B. Chen, and J. P. Gibson (2013), Sounding of the plasmasphere by Mid-continent MAgnetoseismic Chain magnetometers, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 118, doi:10.1002/jgra.50274.

MAGDAS / 210 Chain:
Yumoto, K,. and the CPMN Group (2001), Characteristics of Pi 2 magnetic pulsations observed at the CPMN stations: A review of the STEP results, Earth Planets Space, 53, 981-992.

Gjerloev, J. W. (2012), The SuperMAG data processing technique, J. Geophys. Res., 117 , A09213, doi:10.1029/2012JA017683.


The SML data was considered at a 1-min cadence in a sliding 30 min buffer. An onset was identified at time=t0 when four conditions are satisfied:

  1. SML ( t0 + 1 ) − SML ( t0 ) < -15 nT
  2. SML ( t0 + 2 ) − SML ( t0 ) < -30 nT
  3. SML ( t0 + 3 ) − SML ( t0 ) < -45 nT
  4. 29 i=4  SML ( t0 + i ) _ 26  − SML ( t0 ) < -100 nT

Thus, the initial drop must be sharp (45 nT in 3 min), and sustained (must average 100 nT below the initial value for the remainder of the half hour). The SML onset is then placed at t0, the last minute before a 15 nT drop.


Newell, P. T., and J. W. Gjerloev (2011), Evaluation of SuperMAG auroral electrojet indices as indicators of substorms and auroral power, J. Geophys. Res., 116, A12211, doi:10.1029/2011JA016779.

Newell, P. T., and J. W. Gjerloev (2011), Substorm and magnetosphere characteristic scales inferred from the SuperMAG auroral electrojet indices, J. Geophys. Res., 116, A12232, doi:10.1029/2011JA016936.

Substorm Database

The following comprehensive list of substorms have been derived using a simple automated algorithm to identify substorm expansion phase onsets from the SML index which is the SuperMAG equvalent of the well-known AL index.

Description of the SuperMAG indices.


The substorm list is updated as stations are added to the SuperMAG archive. Thus, this list is never final and a date of creation is included in the downloadable ASCII file. See the references below for a validation of this substorm list as well as the SML index.