Development of a physically consistent system model for investigations of the Earth's rotation, deformation, and gravity field

Duration: 2004-2007

Meteorological Institute of the University Bonn
Institute of Oceanography, Center for Marine and Climate Research, University of Hamburg
DGFI Munich




The interdisciplinary research project focuses on the development of a consistently coupled system model of near-surface dynamics in order to investigate the Earth's variable rotation, gravity field and surface deformation. The model allows for consistent mass, momentum, and energy fluxes between the Earth's subsystems atmosphere, oceans, and continental hydrosphere which dominate Earth rotation excitations on timescales from hours to decades. The coupled model ECOCTH will provide forcing data for simulations with the Dynamic Model for Earth rotation and Gravity (DyMEG) developed at DGFI, Munich. In the research project working groups from meteorology, oceanography, hydrology and geodesy are involved. The tasks handled in Section 1.5 are mainly concerned with the hydrological component, i.e. the development and implementation of calculating routines for hydrological angular momentum standalone runs of hydrological discharge with the Hydrological Discharge Model (HDM, Hagemann, 1998) and corresponding analyses of hydrological excitations of Earth rotation validation of the hydrological cycle simulated with the coupled model ECOCTH the calculation of water mass balances in the coupled system atmosphere, oceans, and continental hydrosphere validation of simulated hydrological mass variations by means of GRACE gravity fields.