Article

The magnetic north pole migration - What a Pilot should know


by Marine-Pilots.com - published on 22 February 2019 2044 -

Since the turn of the millennium 55 km per year

The Arctic magnetic pole does not move anymore. It runs, faster and faster. In recent years, even faster than expected. Therefore, geo-researchers have now had an unscheduled change to their world model and adjust their calculations, so that navigation with compass and other navigation aids such as a Pilot Plug, used by pilots around the world, continue to work.


Regular compass corrections are important

A compass has to be calibrated regularly, because the magnetic field of our Earth, on which the compass is oriented, constantly changes slightly and deviates from place to place. The corrections are especially important for captains and pilots in high latitudes. Elsewhere it does not matter so much when the compass is pointing not exactly to the north, to the point around which the earth revolves, but to the magnetic pole nearby. Ships and aircraft in the Arctic are particularly dependent on the most accurate navigational data possible.


Unscheduled publication of compass corrections

The Arctic magnetic pole, for example, is located near the geographic North Pole, and it changes its position noticeably every year. For this reason, experts must constantly adapt the model used for compass correction. Now, however, the World Magnetic Model has been temporarily revised. It is being produced by the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) in the USA in cooperation with the British Geological Survey (BGS) in the United Kingdom.


Official corrections so far are in a five-year cycle

Normally, the magnetic model of the Earth is revised every five years. The latest version is from 2015, so a new release of the data would have been necessary by the end of this year. But because the pole is moving so fast, the researchers found themselves forced to act faster.


By the end of 2019, there will be the next revision on the regular schedule.

Since the first positioning in 1831, the Arctic magnetic pole has already moved by 2300 kilometers - and it continues to move. Since the turn of the millennium, the speed has been around 55 kilometers per year. It is traveling from the area of the Canadian Arctic Islands across the central area of the Arctic Ocean towards Siberia.


The liquid earth core allows the magnetic pole to migrate

The reason for the migration of the magnetic North Pole lies in the interior of the earth. There, movements in the liquid part of the earth's core cause the magnetic field to form, and researchers speak of the so-called geodynamo. And these movements of molten iron and nickel vary minimally over time - causing the pole to migrate.


The next pole reversal will come

The polarity of the field has been reversed repeatedly in the past, which can be demonstrated by rock samples. Currently, its strength is weakening, which could be an indication of a so-called pole reversal. On geological scales, this event is overdue, so to speak, the last time it occurred was 780,000 years ago. The question is not whether, but when the next pole reversal will take place.


Frank Diegel, TRENZ GmbH, Germany

Join the conversation...

Login or register to write comments and join the discussion!
RC
Roger Carey United Kingdom
on 19 December 2021, 15:51 UTC

Magnetic compasses don't have to be calibrated regularly because of the movement of the magnetic pole.They will always point at magentic north, wherever it is. The are compensated to account for the natural magnetic field which exist in the vessel in which they are installed, and that compensation should be checked regulalry. Navigational charts always show the amount of variation of Magnetic North from True North, and always indicate the estimated annual rate of movement, east or west of True North. That estimate would have to be revised when mag north moves faster or slower than expected, and would be applied as a chart amendment, or when the chart is reprinted.
0

Read more...

Article The difficulty of finding marine pilot-specific information on the Internet

by Marine-Pilots.com - published on 4 November 2019

Who is a pilot and how do I find information about this great job on the Internet?

2

Article Marine-Pilots.com celebrates its first anniversary these days!

by Frank Diegel - published on 26 October 2020

International Marine pilot platform for information and knowledge exchange an acute necessity.

3

Opinion A year ago, pilot Capt. Dennis Sherwood died in the line of duty

by Frank Diegel - published on 30 December 2020

It has been exactly one year ago that a pilot from Sandy Hook (New York), Dennis Sherwood, died in the line of duty while attempting to board the container vessel Maersk Kensington.
What has happened since then? Has safety been improved for the pilots?

1

Article Webinar - Port & Pilot supplied ECDIS routes and passage plans

published on 29 January 2021

The Australasian Marine Pilots Institute is presenting a webinar via Zoom about ports providing ECDIS routes and passage plans to ships as part of the pre-arrival process.

It will take place on Thursday 11 February 2021 at 19:00 AEDT (08:00 UTC) and is free for AMPI/IMPA/UKMPA/NZMPA members. Non-members are also welcome to attend.

2

Article Intertanko Guide to Safe Navigation (2nd Edition-2021) released

published on 28 December 2021

Shipping has evolved significantly over the years. Research in maritime safety and operations over the past few decades has been intensive and has resulted in significant improvements.

0

Video Physical Pilot Ladder Simulator (Chile)

published on 2 January 2020

This video has already been published for the first time in 2020. Please also note the second, more recent video in the appendix. This physical ladder simulator was designed for crew training in the ladder arrangement and for all the users especially for pilots.

0

Video Maritime Pilot Training VI - Pilot Ladder Training

published on 12 May 2021

Training video VI on the correct use of the pilot ladder

0

Article MAIB releases report into grounding and recovery of Thea II in Humber Estuary

published on 21 August 2020

UK's Marine Accident Investigation Branch has published grounding and recovery of a container feeder vessel and a tug in the approaches to the Humber Estuary in storm force conditions on 15 December 2018.

0

Video Ship piloting in pandemic times in Santa Marta, Colombia

published on 5 April 2020

It has been 1 month since the 1st case of coronavirus in the country. All airports were shut down, and mandatory confinement was issued 10 days ago. Nevertheless, Maritime shipping must continue (except for tourist related). The means that us pilots must continue with our duties despite the risks involved with all the ships' crews arriving from different countries. So we need to take all safety measures possible.
This particular maneuver was unberthing a chemical tanker, in loaded...

0