Geophysical Observatory IGF PAS
Brzozowa 2
05-402 Otwock-Swider


Tel. +48 22 7793629
e-mail: swider@igf.edu.pl

Geographic coordinates
52°07' N, 21°14' E



Ms Danuta Jasinkiewicz

Mr Stanisław Bania


The observatory was founded in 1915 as magnetic observatory but nowadays it works mainly as atmospheric electricity station. The following electrical parameters of the atmosphere are recorded here:

  • vertical electric field (Ez) or potential gradient (PG)
  • vertical current density (Jz)
  • positive and negative air conductivity
  • cloud condensation nuclei

There are also comprehensive meteorological measurements and observations of gaseous pollutants. The electrical conductivity of the air is measured by a Gerdien condenser. The electric field is measured by a radioactive collector system. The concentration of aerosol in the range of from 3 nm to 3 micrometer is measured by a photoelectric counter and condensation counter TSI CPC 3025 model.

40 year-long series of measurements recorded in the Geophysical Observatory in Swider allows the study of long-term variations of the global electric circuit and the processes occurring in it. The data collected allow verification of mathematical models of the global electric circuit in the long-term scale. Analysis of long-term series of electric field strength in the years 1960 - 2000 showed an increase in the electric field strength and a decrease in the electrical conductivity of the air, and the low frequency component of the electrical conductivity of the air coincides with the 11-year cycle of cosmic radiation changes. The relationship is particularly apparent when the concentration of aerosol does not change in time.

Atmospheric electricity research AT Polar StationS
Electric field strength (potential gradient) measurements are also carried out in the Polish Polar Station in Hornsund. Used for this purpose is a radioactive collector system and a system dynamic dipole sensor. Analysis of selected cases revealed certain relationships between the magnetospheric current current and field system and ground-level electric field, especially due to solar storms and resulting magnetic substorms. Since 2013 the electric field is also measured at the Polish Antarctic Arctowski Station.

EDUCATIONAl activities

The Geophysical Observatory in Swider is a popular choice for school trips from the region. Pupils have the opportunity to hear about contemporary studies in atmospheric physics, particularly atmospheric electricity.

The Observatory is also involved in the project EDUSCIENCE. By the relationship with the Observatory via teaching tours as well as online classes the project participants learn about the history of selected geophysical topics, in particular concerning the creation of the first Polish magnetic observatory in Swider. The observatory staff present contemporary and historical measurement apparatus and discuss the basic topics in physics and meteorology.