Magnetic pole shift alters markers at Oregon airport

September 21, 2011PORTLAND – The slowly drifting location of Earth’s magnetic north pole means the Hillsboro Airport’s main runway underwent a name change early this week — from 12/30 to 13/31. The new numbers were painted at one end of the runway early this week as part of general maintenance, said a spokeswoman for the Port of Portland, which owns and operates the airport. Pilots and clients of the airport were mailed notices to be on the lookout for the runway work, but the airport was never shut down, as was rumored, said spokeswoman Kama Simonds. Runways are designated according to the points on a compass, and the changing location of true magnetic north meant the runway sometimes is renamed. Experts say magnetic north is slipping slowly from above the Arctic Ocean in a north-northwestern direction toward Siberia, at about 34.2 miles per year. When the magnetic points were recalibrated, Hillsboro, like some other airports, had to renumber its main runway. “Over time, every 20 years or so, the magnetic headings change, and the runways have to be renamed,” Simonds said. Every five years, federal agencies tabulate magnetic variation, which varies by location. It correlates true direction to the magnetic compass readings needed for navigation. While modern navigation is moving toward more satellite-based systems, most U.S. aviation still relies on ground radar — calibrated to the local magnetic variation used in navigational aids such as instrument landing systems and beacons, she said. The adjustment is the result of a natural, ongoing process. The Earth has an iron core, and movement within its outer part is believed to be responsible for sustaining the magnetic field used to measure the Earth’s surface. This makes the Earth like a giant magnet, but with the location of its north and south poles always shifting around. As a result, true magnetic north, on which the workings of a compass needle are focused, doesn’t always match up with the permanently drawn lines on the map. Thus, the location of the airport in relation to true north has to be adjusted. Scientists believe the activity of the Earth’s core could cause massive shifts in polarity, including the north and south poles reversing themselves. It’s believed this last happened 780,000 years ago, and took about 10,000 years to happen. Pilots and clients at the airport were warned to be cautious Sunday and Monday as the new numbers were painted, in addition to the paving and milling and at the end of the landing strip. –Oregon Live
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11 Responses to Magnetic pole shift alters markers at Oregon airport

  1. Wiseguy says:

    Great documentary from David Suzuki’s The Nature of Things, enjoy.


  2. Terri says:

    I’ve tried to access this link, but I’m in the US and it says it won’t stream outside of Canada. Is there a US link?


  3. David W. S. says:

    My question is.. are the poles actually shifting.. or.. is it a form of techtonic plate shifting and the location of the NORTH and SOUTH poles are just being re-adjusted accordingly? Is the earth’s axis actually shifting?


    • The Earth is tilted 23 degrees from its axis of inclination so magnetic north has never been true north. See:

      The magnetic north pole is migrating towards Siberia at the speed of about 30-40 miles a year. At the same time, the stronger the magnetic field is; the more it bows out from the planet. When the field weakens; points of it in between the generated dipoles dips and falls closer to Earth near the equator where the planet’s bulge is most pronounced. This dip represents a point of weakness in the field and over time, it is becoming larger and larger. It’s called the South-Atlantic Anomaly and it’s centered mostly over Brazil. Because ionized particles are not repelled along this region, satellites can be fried during a solar radiation burst if they pass through the SAA. Most are powered to turn-off during the transit. The planet’s magnetic field weakens to a point where it is said to undergo a routine reversal and north becomes south and vice-versa. Up to this reversal, the planet’s field strength has weakened considerably- declining by as much as 10% in the last 150 years and by as much as 50% over the last 1900 years. Scientists believe the magnetic field is not generated by the planet’s metal core but instead by the more fluid-like molten metal layer outside the core. The problem with this is it’s subject to movement since there is a viscosity issue and if the planet ever capsizes, the field will likely disappear altogether. This declination of the magnetic field is likely due to temperature fluctuations within the planet’s interior as heat is what drives volcanism, sea-floor spreading and tectonic plate movements. So earthquakes are not the cause; they are the symptom. The axis stays the same, unless the planet tilts over, but the magnetic field migrates across the spheroid much like a shadow moving across a ball without disturbing the ball.


  4. RainMan says:

    Thanks Wiseguy but unfortunately it won’t play outside Canada? Will try other source, have been a admirer of David Suzuki’s doco’s for a while.


  5. I just find it amazing on how quickly this is happening. An Almighty God is preparing His planet for His reconstruction.



  6. Gail K says:

    Hi Alvin, Your book arrived and I haven’t been able to put it down….except to catch my breath! Have you read Immanuel Velikovsy’s works? World’s in Collision is a MUST read for eveyone following your blog. I read it back in the early seventies and just recently it came into my hands again ….actually not long after I discovered your blog. I encourage all ‘world watchers’ to read it!
    Thanks for keeping us all updated on current events.


    • You’re quite welcome Gail and I’m delighted you’re enjoying the book. That’s the best compliment any writer could ever hear about his or her work and I appreciate it. Very familar with Immanuel Velikovsky’s work as well as Rand Flem-Ath’s When the Sky Fell and Catacylsm by Allan and Delair- they all point to a series of great catastrophes in the planet’s past that have been lost in history. Take care and please stay in touch.

      Grace in Christ,


      • Gail K says:

        I will keep an eye open for those authors you mention Alvin. I just bought Mankind In Amnesia by Velikovsky with Ages In Chaos and Earth In Upheaval on ebay and they are on the way. The more I read and try to understand the times we are living in the more I realize the only safe place in the coming days is in the heart of God….and His Son. Bless you Alvin for being His Watchman warning the people.


      • May the Father be praised. We treading in the murk now of unsolvable overlapping crisises and sooner or later, we’ll learn to look up either in hope or fear.

        Grace in Christ,


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