Marine Science Faculty Publications

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polar motion, excitation, GRACE

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Terrestrial water storage (TWS) and ocean bottom pressure (OBP) are major contributors to the observed polar motion excitations, second only to atmospheric mass movement. However, quantitative assessment of the hydrological and oceanic effects on polar motion remains unclear because of the lack of global observations. In this paper, hydrological and oceanic mass excitations to polar motion are investigated using monthly TWS and OBP derived from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) for January 2003 until December 2008. The results from this analysis are compared with hydrological model excitations from the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and oceanic model excitations obtained from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) using Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean (ECCO). Results show that the GRACE-derived OBP and TWS better explain the geodetic residual polar motion excitations for the Px component at the annual period, while the GRACE OBP and ECMWF hydrological angular momentum agree better with the geodetic residuals for the annual Py excitation. GRACE ocean and hydrology excitations better explain the geodetic residuals for the semiannual Py excitation. However, the JPL ECCO and ECMWF models better explain the intraseasonal geodetic residual of polar motion excitation in the Px and Py components. The GRACE data demonstrate much higher intraseasonal variability than either the models or the geodetic observations.

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JGR - Solid Earth, v. 115, issue B2

Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union