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Damping of the Earth's Free Nutation

Gutenberg, B. (1956) Damping of the Earth's Free Nutation. Nature, 177 (4515). pp. 887-888. ISSN 0028-0836. doi:10.1038/177887a0.

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The ‘free nutation’ of the Earth is a motion of the Earth's instantaneous axis of rotation around its mean position. The poles (intersections of the axis with the Earth's surface) describe changing orbits with the ‘Chandler period’ of about fourteen months. Every six or seven years the amplitude of these orbits reaches a maximum of up to ten metres and then decreases almost to zero. Following Jeffreys, Bondi and Gold have considered that the free nutation has a characteristic damping time of the order of ten periods. They find that such heavy damping cannot arise from internal motion of the core or from relative motion between core and mantle, and conclude that it results from non-elastic behaviour of the mantle.

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Additional Information:© 1956 Nature Publishing Group.
Issue or Number:4515
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140923-103729991
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:49934
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Sep 2014 17:42
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 18:49

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