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Magnetic field associated with the Earth. It is essentially dipolar (i.e., it has two poles, the northern and southern magnetic poles) on the Earth's surface. Away from the surface, the field becomes distorted. Most geomagnetists explain the field by means of dynamo theories, whereby a source of energy in the Earth's core causes a self-sustaining magnetic field. In the dynamo theories, fluid motion in the Earth's core involves the movement of conducting material within an existing magnetic field, thus creating a current and a self-enforcing field.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on geomagnetic field, visit Britannica.com.
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