The Role of the Ocean in the Planetary Angular Momentum Budget
Abstract
This dissertation examines the role of the oceans in the Planetary Angular Momentum Budget (PAMB). PAMB is a vector description of the distribution and transfer of angular momentum among the Earth's components. These components are the atmosphere, the ocean, the core, and the solid Earth. Since the required observations of the real ocean do not exist, I used nine years of data products from the Parallel Ocean Climate Model (POCM). This freesurface ocean model allows for the estimation of angular momentum variability resulting from mass redistribution and currents that is more representative of the real ocean than earlier numerical models. Before I investigate the oceanic role, I must have a better understanding of the effects of the model's limitations on resulting mass and angular momentum values. With this in mind, I examine POCM's mass and angular momentum budgets. To investigate the role of ocean variability in the PAMB, excitation functions computed from POCM's angular momentum are compared to polar motion and length of day variations that are unaccounted for by the atmosphere. Finally, for completeness, I examine the effects of oceanic mass redistribution on the Earth's gravity field by comparing model predicted Stokes coefficients to temporal variations in the Earth's gravitational field observed with LAGEOS satellite laser range observations. These comparisons suggest that ocean variability can explain a significant amount of the previously unaccounted for variations in the Earth's rotation and some of the temporal variations in the Earth's gravitational field. Overall, this research improves our understanding of the role of the oceans in the PAMB and the Earth's gravity field.
 Publication:

Ph.D. Thesis
 Pub Date:
 December 1998
 Bibcode:
 1998PhDT.........2J
 Keywords:

 EARTH'S ROTATION;
 Geophysics, Geodesy, Physics: Astronomy and Astrophysics