20-year extension in effect for USGS Sitka Magnetic Observatory Site

A 117-acre site used by the U.S Geological Survey for the Sitka Magnetic Observatory, as part of the federal Bureau of Land Management’s Geomagnetism Program for magnetic and seismological data collection, has been withdrawn from public use for another 20 years.

The Sitka Magnetic Observatory provides several federal agencies with magnetic and seismologic information critical to their missions, including space weather warnings, observations and forecasts; basic control of models required for nautical and aeronautical charts; and detection of seismic events. 

The observatory has been providing such information on a continuous basis since 1939.

Current beneficiaries of this data include the NASA, NOAA, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, and the National Science Foundation.

The observatory also provides basic control in southeastern Alaska for the magnetic data and models required for nautical and aeronautical charts used by commercial and national defense organizations. Data recorded at the observatory is also widely used by the international scientific community for research efforts to study upper atmospheric and space physics phenomena. It provides important data for the global effort to better understand, predict, and utilize the natural fluctuations in the earth’s magnetic field.