Space geodesy monitors mass transports in global geophysical fluids

Author: B. F. Chao and David Salstein
June 5, 2000
EOS, Transactions American Geophysical Union

Chao, B. F., V. Dehant, R. S. Gross, R. D. Ray, D. A. Salstein, M. M. Watkins, and C. R. Wilson (2000), Space geodesy monitors mass transports in global geophysical fluids, Eos Trans. AGU, 81(22), 247, doi:10.1029/00EO00172.


Large-scale mass transports in the Earth system produce variations in Earth's rotation, gravity field, and geocenter. Although relatively small, these global geodynamic effects have been measured by space geodetic techniques to increasing, unprecedented accuracy, opening up important new avenues of research that will lead to a better understanding of global mass transport processes and the Earth's dynamic responses.

To take full advantage of these advances, the International Earth Rotation Service (IERS), the organization that monitors the rotational motions of the Earth and related properties, saw the need in 1998 to create an infrastructure to facilitate the link between the space geodetic measurement and the geodynamic “global change” research communities [Dehant et al., 1997]. Hence was born the IERS Global Geophysical Fluids Center (GGFC).