The Rotation of the Earth: A Geophysical Discussion

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This book gives an account of certain observed irregularities on the rotation of the Earth, both in its rate of rotation (giving a variable length of day) and in the position of its axis. These irregularities are caused by events on and within the Earth and provide a means of studying a number of geophysical problems. Seasonal shifts in air masses and variable winds are causes of short-period fluctuations in the rotation. Climatic changes and their attendant sea levels are in part responsible for long-term fluctuations. Modern observations of the Moon and descriptions of ancient elipses both establish a secular increase in the length of day. The interpretation involves atmospheric, oceanic and bodily tides. The book provides a unified treatment of the rotation of the Earth, making this method of studying geophysical phenomena more readily accessible to geophysicists and others.