Polar motions equivalent to high frequency nutations for a nonrigid Earth with anelastic mantle*
Department of Theoretical Physics, University of Madras, Chennai 600 025, India e-mail: email@example.com
2 IMCCE, Paris Observatoire de Paris, 75014 Paris, France
Corresponding author: P. M. Mathews, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 20 November 2002
The coefficients of polar motions of the rigid/nonrigid Earth in frequency bands other than the retrograde diurnal one are systematically computed using general expressions, derived here for the first time, for the prograde and retrograde torques exerted on the Earth by lunisolar potentials of arbitrary spherical harmonic type. Taken together with the already known coefficients of low frequency nutations and UT1 variations, they provide a complete characterization, with high precision, of the motions of the pole of the terrestrial reference frame in space; this is needed for high precision studies in astronomy and space geodesy. The inputs used for our computations are a table of tidal amplitudes, and values of the geopotential coefficients of degrees up to 4 and of other relevant basic Earth parameters. General relations which connect the coefficients of high frequency nutations to those of the equivalent polar motions are established and used for deducing the former. The Chandler resonance plays a significant role in low frequency polar motions. In this context, the role of mantle anelasticity and the nature of the Earth's deformational response to zero frequency forcing are given special consideration. The free core nutation (FCN) resonance of low frequency nutations is shown to affect the prograde semidiurnal nutations through the coupling produced between the nutations in the two frequency bands by triaxiality terms in the angular momenta of the whole Earth and of its fluid core. It is shown in a transparent fashion that the effect of the core triaxiality arises almost exclusively from the huge FCN-related resonance in the wobble of the core. The magnitude of the effect is found to be a few times smaller than reported in a recent paper; it is also found, unlike in that paper, that the changes in the eigenfrequencies due to trixiality are only of the second order in the triaxiality parameter. Numerical results for the polar motions of the nonrigid Earth in different frequency bands, as well as for the elliptical nutations of the rigid Earth, are tabulated and compared with available numbers from earlier works.
Key words: reference systems / Earth
This work is dedicated to the memory of Pierre Bretagnon, my valued colleague and personal friend, and a scientist of great integrity widely respected for his definitive works carried out with meticulous care and precision. He passed away shortly before the final revision of this paper was complete. P. M. M.
© ESO, 2003