Tidal Friction in the Solid Earth: Loading Tides Versus Body Tides

  • J. Zschau


Astronomical as well as palaeontological evidence suggests a secular retardation of the Earth’s rotation, which is attributed to tidal friction, i. e., mainly to the nonequilibrium and imperfectly fluid response of the Earth’s oceans, as well as to the imperfectly elastic response of the solid Earth to tidal forces. Estimates of the rotational energy dissipated in the oceans show that the oceanic term probably accounts for most of the dissipated energy (Pekeris and Accad, 1969; Pariiskii et al., 1972; Kuznetsov, 1972; Brosche and Sündermann, 1972; Hender-shott, 1972), although the exact share between both, the oceanic dissipation and the dissipation within the solid Earth, is not known. This is attributed to insufficiencies in the knowledge of the marine tides in the open oceans, and to the fact that nothing is known about the rheological mechanism of tidal dissipation within the solid Earth. Measurements of tidal gravity variations at the Earth’s surface, as well as precise observations of the tidal effect on satellite orbits have not yet revealed reliable results on imperfectly elastic body tides of the Earth. Model calculations give also only rough estimations of the tidal energy dissipated within the Earth, mainly because no information is available on the specific tidal dissipation function, i. e., the quality factor Q within the Earth.


Dissipation Rate Phase Delay Uppermost Mantle Love Number Ocean Tide Model 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Zschau
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of GeophysicsKiel-UniversityKielGermany

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