December 29, 2021

The Moving Earth

John Lees

This is pretty fascinating. Here are two maps of the world showing the current vertical and horizontal motions of a set of locations on the surface. The motions are derived "using the full observation history of the four space geodetic techniques (very long baseline interferometry (VLBI), satellite laser ranging (SLR), Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), and Doppler orbitography and radiopositionin g integrated by satellite (DORIS))"
This work is critical to the further analysis of the relative motions of the ocean surface. Although measurement of the location of the ocean surface has been used to determine the absolute reference point - which is the centre of mass of planet earth.
Everywhere on the planet is heading off to somewhere else!!
(In the horizontal motion map, the outline of the land is drawn, but very faintly in blue. The red lines are the plate boundaries of course.)

May be an image of standing and text that says '+5mm/y -5mm/y ITRF2014 vertical velocities Zuheir Altamimi'May be an image of map
May be an image of standing and text that says '+5mm/y -5mm/y ITRF2014 vertical velocities Zuheir Altamimi'
May be an image of map

Figure 11 and 12, from this in-depth article.
https:// agupubs.onlineli brary.wiley.com /doi/full/ 10.1002/ 2016JB013098

Also from this article:
"The envisaged accuracy of the ITRF is necessary for a reliable and long-term stable estimation of very small signals of global change phenomena such as the mean global sea level rise which is in the order of a few mm per year. This phenomena cannot be measured with sufficient reliability if the reference frame is not accurate and stable enough over decades. Present-day estimations of the mean sea level rise are in a range between 2.9 and 3.4 mm/
yr, which differs by almost 20%! French colleagues reported in a recently published and internationally well-recognized review paper: "The major limitation is the realization of the terrestrial reference frame. Ideally, to be useful in long-term sea level studies, vertical land motion should be determined with standard errors that are 1 order of magnitude lower than the contemporary climate signals of 1-3 mm/yr observed on average in sea level records" (Wöppelmann & Marcos, Reviews of Geophysics, doi:10.1002/ 2015RG000502, 2016)"
More here Willis Eschenbach. The reliance of this work on an accurate measure of global SLR inspires some degree of hope for the future of that branch of science.
All from: https:// www.dgfi.tum.de/ en/research/ reference-system s/ determination-of -reference-fram es/ global-terrestri al-reference-fr ames/ dtrf2014-en/

James Wehner adds:

Looking at these plots it appears that:
1) Africa moves towards India
2) Eastern US pushes in the plains and the Rockies increase in height along with the Osarks
3) CA splits off the continental US (about bloody time)
4) South America makes a swing towards North America and the Gulf of Mexico gets smaller
5) Europe pushes towards the Urals and they and the Alps get bigger
6) Australia merges with the Phillipines

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 12:11 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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