oa East African Geographical Review - The magnetic declination in Kenya

Volume 1973, Issue 11
  • ISSN : 1937-6812



The Earth's magnetic field at any point on the Earth's surface can be represented by a vector F whose length is a measure of the field strength and whose direction indicates the direction of the magnetic field at that point. In Nairobi at the present time such a vector would point upwards at an angle of about 270 to the horizontal, and just westward of geographic north (see Fig.1). The angle between the direction of the horizontal component of the field H and true north is called the magnetic declination D and is of interest to map makers, surveyors and navigators. Thus the needle of a magnetic compass points in the direction of 'magnetic I north and a knowledge of the local declination angle is needed to correct this to the direction of geographic north.

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