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Snow-load excitation of the Earth's annual wobble

  • B. Fong Chao (a1), William P. O'Connor (a1) and Alfred T. C. Chang (a1)

Abstract

A global, monthly snow depth data set has been generated from weather satellite (Nimbus 7) observations using passive microwave remote-sensing techniques. In this paper we analyzed five years of data, 1980–1984, to compute the snow-load excitation of the annual wobble of the Earth's rotation axis. A uniform sea-level decrease has been assumed in order to conserve water mass. The result shows dominant seasonal cycles. The prograde component of the annual excitation is Ψ+ = (5.0 milliarcsec, −110*) and the retrograde component Ψ = (5.0 milliarcsec, −31*). These computed values are compared with previous groundwater estimates, as well as the inferred values from ILS and LAGEOS polar motion measurements. The importance of accurate data is stressed and future plans proposed.

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Copyright

References

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Foster, J.L., Hall, D.K., Chang, A.T.C., and Rango, A., 1984. ‘An overview of passive microwave snow research and results’, Rev. Geophys. Space Phys., 22, 195208.
Lambeck, K., 1980. The Earth's Variable Rotation, Cambridge University Press, New York.
Munk, W.H., and MacDonald, G.J.F., 1960. The Rotation of the Earth, Cambridge Univ. Press, New York.
Van Hylckama, T.E.A., 1970. ‘Water balance and Earth unbalance’, International Association of Scientific Hydrology, Proc. Read. Symp. World Water Balance, Publ. 92, 434553. AIHS-UNESCO.
Wahr, J.M., 1983. ‘The effects of the atmosphere and oceans on the Earth's wobble and on the seasonal variations in the length of day, 2, Results’, Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc., 74, 451487.
Wilson, C.R., and Vicente, R.O., 1980. ‘An analysis of the homogeneous ILS polar motion series’, Geophys. J. R. astr. Soc., 62, 605616.

Snow-load excitation of the Earth's annual wobble

  • B. Fong Chao (a1), William P. O'Connor (a1) and Alfred T. C. Chang (a1)

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