Oceanic excitation of daily to seasonal signals in Earth rotation: results from a constant-density numerical model

Author: Rui M. Ponte
Date: 
August 1, 1997
Type: 
Journal Article
Venue: 
Geophysical Journal International
Citation: 

Ponte, R.M., 1997. Oceanic excitation of daily to seasonal signals in Earth rotation: results from a constant-density numerical model. Geophysical Journal International, 130, 469-474.

Velocity and mass fields from a constant-density, near-global ocean model, driven with observed twice-daily surface wind stresses and atmospheric pressures for the period October 1992-September 1993, are used to calculate oceanic excitation functions for the length of day (LOD) and for polar motion (PM), and results are analysed as a function of the frequency band. Variable currents and mass redistributions are both important in determining oceanic excitation functions. For bands with periods longer than one month, wind-driven variability is the primary cause of oceanic excitation signals. At higher frequency bands, larger deviations from the inverted barometer response occur, and pressure-driven signals contribute more significantly to the variance in the excitation functions. Oceanic LOD excitation is generally small compared to that of the atmosphere, except for the 2-10 day band. At these scales, adding oceanic to atmospheric excitation series does not lead to better agreement with the observed LOD, although this result may be related to data quality issues. With regard to the excitation of PM, the ocean is in general as important as the atmosphere at most time scales. Combined oceanic and atmospheric excitation series compare visibly better with geodetic series than do atmospheric series alone, pointing to the ocean as a source of measurable signals in PM.