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There is growing evidence, based on both X-ray and radio observations of isolated neutron stars, that besides the large--scale (dipolar) magnetic field, which determines the pulsar spin--down behaviour, small--scale poloidal field components are present, which have surface strengths one to two orders of magnitude larger than the dipolar component. We argue in this paper that the Hall--effect can be an efficient process in producing such small--scale field structures just above the neutron stardoi:10.1051/0004-6361:20034605 fatcat:lyuzvyeeanbkvp4by7obtpfzpi