Assimilation of Earth Rotation and the Ocean's Circulation (EROC)

The project P2 (EROC) is part of the research unit "Earth Rotation and Global Dynamic Processes" and is funded by the German Research Foundation (FOR 584).

The Earth rotation parameters describe the state of Earth's rotation. Both, angular velocity as well as tilt of Earth's axis can be changed due to external torques and due to terrestrial mass  movements. The latter is studied in this project with focus on the world oceans. Therefore, modern methods of data-assimilation (ensemble Kalman-Filters) are combined with global,  numerical ocean modeling. Data-assimilation can make our ocean model (OMCT) consistent with the observed Earth rotation deviations (Fig. 1, red line). For this, knowledge about the other Earth-subsystems (like  Atmosphere, Core, Mantle) has to be used. Data from respective models and reanalyses are used for this purpose. Afterwards, the comparison with a reference-simulation that does not assimilate data will be done (Fig. 1, black line). That way, physical, oceanic mechanisms which force the observed changes in Earth rotation can be identified. At least on the considered time-scales.

That signal-part of the Earth rotation observations that cannot be reproduced by the assimilated ocean model is also valuable. It contains information about the errors in the assumptions, the preprocessing, the model and the assimilation method. The project P2 is part of the research unit "Earth Rotation and Global Dynamic Processes". The research unit is funded by the German Research Foundation (FOR 584).

Model Description


Jan Saynisch-Wagner
Group Leader
Dr. Jan Saynisch-Wagner
Earth System Modelling
Building A 20, Room 318
14473 Potsdam
+49 331 288-2371