Modeling of nutation and precession: New nutation series for nonrigid Earth and insights into the Earth's interior
Abstract
The analytical formulation of the theories of nutation and wobble reveals the combinations of basic Earth parameters that govern the nutationwobble response of the Earth to gravitational (tidal) forcing by heavenly bodies and makes it possible to estimate several of them through a least squares fit of the theoretical expressions to the highprecision data now available. This paper presents the essentials of the theoretical framework, the procedure that we used for least squares estimation of basic Earth parameters through a fit of theory to nutationprecession data derived from an uptodate very long baseline interferometry data set, the results of the estimation and their geophysical interpretation, and the nutation series constructed using the estimated values of the parameters. The theoretical formulation used here differs from earlier ones in the incorporation of anelasticity and ocean tide effects into the basic structure of the dynamical equations of the theory and in the inclusion of electromagnetic couplings of the mantle and the solid inner core to the fluid outer core, though this generalization comes at the cost of making some of the system parameters complex and frequency dependent; it is also more complete, as it takes account of nonlinear terms in these equations, including effects of the timedependent deformations produced by zonal and sectorial tides, which had been traditionally neglected in nonrigid Earth theories. Among the geophysical results obtained from our fit are estimates for the dynamic ellipticity e of the Earth (e = 0.0032845479 with an uncertainty of 12 in the last digit), for the dynamical ellipticity e_{f} of the fluid core (3.8% higher than its hydrostatic equilibrium value, rather than ~5% as hitherto), and for the two complex electromagnetic coupling constants. Our best estimates for the RMS radial magnetic fields at the core mantle boundary and at the inner core boundary, based on the estimates for these coupling constants, are ~6.9 and 72 gauss, respectively, when the magnetic field configurations are restricted to certain simple classes. The field strength needed at the inner core boundary could be lower if the density of the core fluid at this boundary or the ellipticity of the solid inner core were lower than that for the Preliminary Reference Earth Model. Our estimate for the resonance frequency of the prograde free core nutation mode, with an uncertainty of ~10%, constitutes the first firm detection of the resonance associated with this mode; the period found is ~1025 days, double that with electromagnetic couplings ignored. (Throughout this work, ``days,'' referring to periods, stands for ``mean solar days.'') A new nutation series (MHB2000) is constructed by direct solution of the linearized dynamical equations (with our best fit values adopted for all the estimated Earth parameters) for each forcing frequency, and adding on the contributions from the nonlinear terms and other effects not included in the linearized equations. This series gives a considerably better fit to the nutation data than any of the earlier series based on geophysical theory. In particular, the residuals in the out of phase amplitudes of the retrograde 18.6 year and annual nutations, which had long remained at ~0.5 milliseconds of arc (mas), are now reduced to the level of the uncertainties in the observational estimates, thanks mainly to the role played by the electromagnetic couplings. The largest remaining discrepancy is that in the out of phase prograde 18.6 year nutation, of ~72 micorseconds of arc (μas). The frequency dependence of the nutation amplitudes cannot be exactly represented through a resonance formula, nor may the resonance frequencies themselves be interpreted as the eigenfrequencies of free modes because of the presence of complex and frequencydependent system parameters. Nevertheless, we have constructed a new resonance formula which reproduces our nutation series accurately for almost all nutation frequencies; for the few remaining frequencies, a listing is given of the corrections to be applied in order to reproduce the exact results of the direct solution.
 Publication:

Journal of Geophysical Research (Solid Earth)
 Pub Date:
 April 2002
 DOI:
 10.1029/2001JB000390
 Bibcode:
 2002JGRB..107.2068M
 Keywords:

 Geodesy and Gravity: Rotational variations;
 Geodesy and Gravity: Earth's interiordynamics (8115;
 8120);
 Geodesy and Gravity: Ocean/Earth/atmosphere interactions (3339);
 Geodesy and Gravity: Tidesocean (4560)