MTA CSFK Geodéziai és Geofizikai Intézet

Széchenyi István Geophysical Observatory of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Description of the Observatory

The observatory is situated about 10 km to E of the city Sopron and 60 km SE of Vienna, on the southern shore of lake Fert˝o. The observatory lies on thick conductive sediment preserving the site from far industrial noise and it is surrounded by the Fertő-Hanság National Park which helps to shelter the long term measurements from any change caused by nearby manmade activity.

Brief History of the Observatory

The observatory was founded by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, as perhaps the first Hungarian establishment dedicated to upper atmosphere and near-Earth space research. The observatory became operational on the beginning of the International Geophysical Year (IGY, between July 1957 and December 1958).


Measurements and reports started in 1957 (International Geophysical Year) with earth current data. The potential differences are measured in N-S and E-W directions with electrode spacings of 500 m. Low polarization lead plate electrodes are buried about 2 m below the surface. Potential differences are recorded with 1 sec and 10 sec sampling rate.

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