Magnetic vs. Geographic South Pole

What's the Difference?

Location of the geographic poles
Location of the geographic poles.

The Geographic South Pole can be described as the southern most point on Earth's surface. It is completely opposite from the North Pole (very popular as it is the home of Santa Claus and Buddy the Elf!).

Magnetic field lines
Magnetic field lines

The magnetic South pole is a little more confusing. Basically magnetic field lines (shown in the diagram above) wrap around the Earth north to south. Where the lines become vertical it is known as a magnetic pole, both in the north and south. Because compasses point to a magnetic pole - not a geographic pole - it is important in terms of navigation. The difference between a geographic and magnetic pole in degrees is called declination and varies depending on location.

Comparing geographic and magnetic south poles
Comparing geographic and magnetic south poles

Our expedition will be traveling in the general area of the magnetic South Pole. If you have any questions feel free to post a question on the Ask the Team link. I'll be sure to get back to you.

Author
Date
Location
Parishville, NY
Weather Summary
Mixed rain and Snow
Temperature
37
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