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Lerwick Magnetic Observatory

Photo of Lerwick Observatory

Map of Lerwick Observatory Location

Map of Shetland Islands

Lerwick Observatory is situated on a ridge of high ground about 2.5 km to the SW of the port of Lerwick. The surrounding countryside is moorland comprising peat bog, heather and rocky outcrops.

The observatory is operated by the Met Office as a meteorological station carrying out routine synoptic observations and upper-air measurements. Other work includes detection of thunderstorms, measurement of solar radiation, ozone and atmospheric pollution levels, and chemical sampling. BGS uses Lerwick as a seismological station, recording data from a local three-component seismometer set.

Lerwick was established as a meteorological site in 1919 and geomagnetic measurements began in 1922. Responsibility for the magnetic observations passed from the Met Office to BGS in 1968.

Lerwick magnetic observatory is part of the INTERMAGNET network.

New measurements, new research

In March 2013 two electrode pairs were installed at Lerwick to measure the geo-electric field.


Geographic Coordinates:

60.138° N 358.817° E

Geomagnetic Coordinates:

61.818° N 088.756° E


85m above mean sea level

Geomagnetic coordinates are approximations calculated using the 12th generation IGRF at epoch 2015.5.


Mapping data licensed from Ordnance Survey with the permission of HMSO Crown copyright.
All rights reserved. Licence Number: 100017897/2015