Excitation of non-atmospheric polar motion by the migration of the Pacific Warm Pool

Y. H. Zhou, X. H. Yan, Xiaoli Ding, X. H. Liao, D. W. Zheng, W. T. Liu, J. Y. Pan, M. Q. Fang, M. X. He

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Changes in the annual variation of the Earth's polar motion are found to be largely caused by the variation of the atmospheric angular momentum (AAM). Recent simulation results of oceanic general circulation models further suggest global oceanic effects on the annual polar motion in addition to the atmosphere. In comparison with previous model studies of global oceanic effects, this research particularly singles out a large-scale ocean anomaly and investigates its effect on the annual polar motion, determined from satellite observations of the movement of the Western Pacific Warm Pool (WPWP). Although the scale of the warm pool is much smaller than that of the solid Earth, analysis of the non-atmospheric polar motion excitation has shown that the WPWP contributes non-negligibly to the annual polar motion. The analysis consists of over 30 years of WPWP data (1970-2000) and shows values of polar motion excitation for the x-component of (2.5 mas, -79°) and for the y-component of (0.6 mas, 173°). Comparison of this result with the total geodetic non-atmosphèric polar motion excitation of (10.3 mas, 59°) for the x-component and (10.6 mas, 62°) for the y-component shows the significance of the WPWP. Changes in the Earth's polar motion have attracted significant attention, not only because it is an important geodetic issue, but also because it has significant value as a global measure of variations within the hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, and solid Earth, and hence global changes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-113
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Geodesy
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2004


  • Excitation
  • Polar motion
  • Western Pacific Warm Pool

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Computers in Earth Sciences


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