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Degree-2 harmonics of the Earth's mass load estimated from GPS and Earth rotation data

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Geoffrey Blewitt, Professor Peter ClarkeORCiD, Dr David Lavallee


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A fluid, mobile atmosphere and oceans surrounds the solid Earth and upon its land surface lays a continually changing distribution of ice, snow, and ground water. The changing distribution of mass associated with the motion of these surficial fluids changes the Earth's rotation by changing its inertia tensor and changes the Earth's shape by changing the load on the solid Earth. It has recently been demonstrated that large-scale changes of the Earth's shape, and hence of the mass load causing the Earth's shape to change, can be measured using the global network of GPS receivers. Here, the degree-2 mass load coefficients determined from GPS data are compared with those obtained from Earth orientation observations from which the effects of tides, winds, and currents have been removed. Good agreement is found between these two estimates of the degree-2 mass load, particularly at seasonal frequencies. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gross R, Blewitt G, Clarke PJ, Lavallée DA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geophysical Research Letters

Year: 2004

Volume: 31

Issue: 7

Pages: L07601-4

Print publication date: 16/04/2004

ISSN (print): 0094-8276

ISSN (electronic): 1944-8007

Publisher: American Geophysical Union


DOI: 10.1029/2004GL019589


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