Magnetic North and Variation

Magnetic north is one of two points on the globe where the line of total magnetic force is vertical and towards which the magnetic needle points in all adjoining regions. Variation (also called magnetic declination) is the difference in direction between true north as determined by the earth's axis of rotation and magnetic north as determined by the earth's magnetism. The variation is designated as east or positive when the magnetic needle is deflected to the east of true north, and as west or negative when the deflection is to the west of true north. The magnetic North Pole is located south of the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic, while the magnetic South Pole is near the coast of Antarctica.