Polar Plots

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By downloading data you agree to follow SuperMAG's Rules of the road.

SuperMAG global data are distributed in NetCDF format. Please see the NetCDF website for more details on this format. The files are for the complete day of interest.

Files include:
  • N,E,Z 1-sec data (error corrected, rotated & baseline removed)
  • ULF Pc2—Pc5 parameters (see ULF Waves for more details)
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SuperMAG Web Service API

You can also download magnetometer data directly into your application using the SuperMAG Web Service API (IDL, Python, Matlab, and R clients are available). Gridded solutions and High Fidelity one second data are not yet available via Web Services.

Rules of the Road

SuperMAG is made possible by the generous contribution of data by numerous 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.

When Using Data

In all cases:

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

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

  • Offer of co-authorship to the PI (or PIs) of those stations and reference the appropriate paper (see list below).
When Using Indices
  • Include the text: “We gratefully acknowledge the SuperMAG collaborators (https://supermag.jhuapl.edu/info/?page=acknowledgement)”
  • Include appropriate reference for indices used (see list below).
  • Include SuperMAG reference: Gjerloev, J. W. (2012), The SuperMAG data processing technique, J. Geophys. Res., 117, A09213, doi:10.1029/2012JA017683.
When Using Substorm Lists
  • If the substorm onset list is central to your study please offer co-authorship to the authors of the technique you use.
  • When using substorm lists please include acknowledgements found here.
  • Include appropriate reference (see list below)
  • For details please see https://supermag.jhuapl.edu/substorms.
When Using OMNI When Using Imaging When using INTERMAGNET Data


Collaborator EMMA

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 (www.swsc-journal.org/articles/swsc/pdf/2013/01/swsc120062.pdf).

Collaborator 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.

Collaborator MACCS

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.

Collaborator 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.

Collaborator 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.

Collaborator CARISMA

Mann, I. R., et al. (2008), The upgraded CARISMA magnetometer array in the THEMIS era, Space Sci. Rev., 141, 413–451, doi:10.1007/s11214-008-9457-6.

Collaborator AALPIP

Clauer, C. R., et al. (2014), An autonomous adaptive low-power instrument platform (AAL-PIP) for remote high-latitude geospace data collection, Geosci. Instrum. Methods Data Syst., 3, 211–227, doi:10.5194/gi-3-211-2014

Collaborator INTERMAGNET

Love, J. J., Chulliat, A., (2013), An international network of magnetic observatories, Eos, 94(42), 373-374, doi:10.1002/2013EO420001


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

Indices SML, SMU, SME

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.

Indices SMLs, SMLd, SMUs, SMUd

Gjerloev, J. W., R. A. Hoffman, S. Ohtani, J. Weygand, and R. Barnes, Response of the Auroral Electrojet Indices to Abrupt Southward IMF Turnings (2010), Annales Geophysicae, 28, 1167-1182.


Newell, P. T., and J. W. Gjerloev (2014), Local geomagnetic indices and the prediction of auroral power, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 119, doi:10.1002/2014JA020524.

Indices SMR, SMR-LT

Newell, P. T. and J. W. Gjerloev (2012), SuperMAG-Based Partial Ring Current Indices, J. Geophys. Res., 117, doi:10.1029/2012JA017586.

Substorm List

Forsyth, C., Rae, I. J., Coxon, J. C., Freeman, M. P., Jackman, C. M., Gjerloev, J., and Fazakerley, A. N. ( 2015), A new technique for determining Substorm Onsets and Phases from Indices of the Electrojet (SOPHIE), J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 120, 10,592– 10,606, doi:10.1002/2015JA021343.

Frey, H. U., Mende, S. B., Angelopoulos, V., and Donovan, E. F. (2004), Substorm onset observations by IMAGE‐FUV, J. Geophys. Res., 109, A10304, doi:10.1029/2004JA010607.

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

Liou, K. (2010),  Polar Ultraviolet Imager observation of auroral breakup, J. Geophys. Res.,  115, A12219, doi:10.1029/2010JA015578.

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.

Ohtani, S., and J. Gjerloev, Is the Substorm Current Wedge an Ensemble of Wedgelets?: Revisit to Midlatitude Positive Bays, accepted, J. Geophys. Res, 2020.

Ground Magnetometer Data

Polar plots of ground level magnetic field perturbations. Vectors are deduced from the two horizontal components and can be displayed in two ways:

  1. rotated 90° clockwise to indicate ionospheric equivalent current direction;
  2. not rotated to show actual orientation of magnetic field perturbations.
Units are nT. Polar plots are in magnetic coordinates centered at the magnetic pole and hence the continents are somewhat distorted.

  1. Select date, time, cadence and various plotting options using controls to the left.
  2. Select ground magnetometer plotting options.
  3. Select IMAGE FUV plotting options. The red/green bar indicates approximate availability.
  4. Select various options for displaying the selected data.

SuperMAG Coordinate system and baseline

Fitted Magnetometer Vectors

The uniformly gridded data are derived from statistical-based method which combines with basis function expansion techniques (Waters et al., 2015) to provide extensive maps of the ground level perturbation magnetic field from 40° magnetic latitude to the magnetic pole for all longitudes. The method combines all available data from the SuperMAG data base, Principal Component Analysis, and a spherical cap harmonic basis function expansion in order to fill in magnetic perturbation data where there are no magnetometers and produce the poloidal current potential. The final uniform solutions are derived from measured perturbations and the fill-in (model) vectors. On the website are shown the measured perturbations and the final fitted solutions. The fill-in (model) vectors are not shown. Download gridded solutions here including:

  • Uniformly gridded Fill-in or Model Vectors
  • Uniformly gridded Fitted Vectors in an MLT-MLat grid
  • Uniformly gridded Fitted Vectors in an equal area grid (AACGM)


Waters, C. L., J. W. Gjerloev, M. Dupont, and R. J. Barnes (2015), Global maps of ground magnetometer data, J. Geophys. Res. Space Physics, 120,doi:10.1002/2015JA021596

ULF Parameters

ULF data products are derived from the 1-sec magnetometer data provided by the SuperMAG collaborators. If you use the ULF data products in publications and/or presentations please clearly indicate that these are SuperMAG derived ULF data.

Full description

Global Auroral Images

SuperMAG includes Auroral Images from the IMAGE Far Ultraviolet Image and Polar Visible Imaging System (VIS).

Full description

Spacecraft Foot Points

The foot points of the NASA Van Allen Probes spacecraft and the ESA SWARM spacecraft are included in the polar plots.

The instantaneous position of the NASA Van Allen Probes are marked by circles on the plot. The orbit track shows the last six (6) hours, marked with arrows at hourly intervals pointing in the direction the spacecraft is moving. The track for Van Allen Probe A is shown in red, Van Allen Probe B is shown in blue.

The foot point is calculated by tracing from the spacecraft location to the ground along a magnetic field line. The magnetic field model is the Olsen-Pfitzer 1997 Quiet time model.

The instantaneous position of the ESA SWARM spacecraft are marked by triangles on the plot.SWARM A is shown in red, SWARM B in green, and SWARM C in blue.

SuperMAG gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the NASA Van Allen Probes Mission and the ESA Swarm Mission for the use of these spacecraft ephemerides.

Solar Wind Data

Solar Wind data has been propagated to the front of the magnetosphere (courtesy Dr. James Weygand) using the pseudo-minimum variance technique of Dan Weimer et al. [2003; 2004].

Full description

To Plot Data

  1. Select the date and time of interest
  2. Select the time step
  3. Select various plotting options

You must login to download plots and derived parameters.

To Download Data

  1. Login
  2. To download event data click on the "Download Data" tab (This follows the philosophy of "what you see is what you get")
  3. Click download button

Download Large Amount of Data

The full SuperMAG magnetometer data set is available for download from the Large Data Downloads page.

SuperMAG Web Service API

You can also download gridded solutions directly into your application using the SuperMAG Web Service API (IDL/Python clients available).

Helpful Information about data sets