Whiteshell (WHS) Magnetic Observatory

Name Whiteshell
IAGA alphabetic code WHS
IAGA numeric code 40265
Geographic coordinates 49.80° N, 264.750° E
Geomagnetic coordinates (IGRF-12 (2015)) 58.37° N, 28.38° W (2015.0)
Elevation 336 m
First year 1975 (replaced by Glenlea)
Status closed in 1982
Observatory data link

For more information about IAGA, please visit the IAGA web site.

An AMOS was installed during the period of July 14-30 1977 at the University of Manitoba laboratory in Whiteshell, 160 km east of Winnipeg. The cost of the operation of the station was shared between the University of Manitoba and the Earth Physics Branch. Although no attempt was made to maintain Whiteshell as a standard magnetic observatory, the data, other than problem periods, were routinely edited and analogue plots of the one-minute values were sent to World Data Centre A.

To avoid the expense of a non-magnetic building of the standard observatory type, the sensors for the observatory instruments were housed in individual prefabricated shelters. Two analogue recorders, one for the analogue output of AMOS and one operating from the secondary magnetometer head and the electronics panel were located in an existing building, about 30 m southeast of the sensors. Concrete piers were poured to bed-rock for the AMOS fluxgate sensor, for the portable electrical magnetometer used for the measurement of the D and I, and for the head of the secondary fluxgate magnetometer. An easily removable insulated panel served as a door to each shelter. The dimensions of the instrument shelters are as follows: 1m x 1m x 2.2m (AMOS ppm sensor); 1.2m x 1.2m x 1.2m (AMOS fluxgate sensor); 1.7m x 1.7m x 2m (D & I instrument); 0.6m x 0.6m x1m (secondary fluxgate magnetometer head). The shelters were constructed of plywood and well insulated. Aluminum nails and brass hardware were used in the construction. Separation between shelters is about 5m.

Reliable edited digital data is available for WHS from 1800 Dec. 1 1975. About 60% only of the digital data was retrieved in 1976. However the recovery rate increased to 80% following a service trip in September.

An electric heater, thermostatically controlled, was installed in the AMOS fluxgate-sensor shelter.

Whiteshell was the anchor station for the Churchill I.M.S. line of variation stations. Absolute observations in D and I were taken once or twice a months to calibrate the AMOS values. Instruments and building check were made twice a month on average.

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