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We investigate the characteristics of rapid geomagnetic variations at high latitudes based on the occurrence of large time derivatives of the horizontal magnetic field (dH /dt exceeding 1 nT s −1 ). Analysis of IMAGE magnetometer data from North Europe in 1983-2010, covering more than two solar cycles, confirms and specifies several previous findings. We show that dH /dt activity is high around the midnight and early morning hours, and nearly vanishes at noon and early afternoon. This happensdoi:10.5194/angeo-29-1783-2011 fatcat:3axlqj4a3zh2rd4yizkfgns7fa