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Analysis of a Precambrian resonance-stabilized day length

Bartlett, Benjamin C. and Stevenson, David J. (2016) Analysis of a Precambrian resonance-stabilized day length. Geophysical Research Letters, 43 (11). pp. 5716-5724. ISSN 0094-8276. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20151123-112131576

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Abstract

During the Precambrian era, Earth's decelerating rotation would have passed a 21 h period that would have been resonant with the semidiurnal atmospheric thermal tide. Near this point, the atmospheric torque would have been maximized, being comparable in magnitude but opposite in direction to the lunar torque, halting Earth's rotational deceleration, maintaining a constant day length, as detailed by Zahnle and Walker (1987). We develop a computational model to determine necessary conditions for formation and breakage of this resonant effect. Our simulations show the resonance to be resilient to atmospheric thermal noise but suggest a sudden atmospheric temperature increase like the deglaciation period following a possible “snowball Earth” near the end of the Precambrian would break this resonance; the Marinoan and Sturtian glaciations seem the most likely candidates for this event. Our model provides a simulated day length over time that resembles existing paleorotational data, though further data are needed to verify this hypothesis.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2016GL068912DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL068912/abstractPublisherArticle
http://arxiv.org/abs/1502.01421arXivDiscussion Paper
http://github.com/bencbartlett/lengthofdayRelated ItemAll of the code used in this paper
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Bartlett, Benjamin C.0000-0002-1799-799X
Stevenson, David J.0000-0001-9432-7159
Additional Information:© 2016 American Geophysical Union. Received 30 MAR 2016; Accepted 10 MAY 2016; Accepted article online 16 MAY 2016; Published online 15 JUN 2016; Corrected 12 JUL 2016. The authors wish to thank the late Tom Tombrello for several contributions to this paper. We also thank two reviewers for their constructive feedback. All of the code used in this paper is available in an open-source repository at github.com/bencbartlett/lengthofday or upon request from the first author.
Subject Keywords:length of day; snowball Earth; tides
Issue or Number:11
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20151123-112131576
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20151123-112131576
Official Citation:Bartlett, B. C., and D. J. Stevenson (2016), Analysis of a Precambrian resonance-stabilized day length, Geophys. Res. Lett., 43, 5716–5724, doi:10.1002/2016GL068912.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:62331
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:23 Nov 2015 19:28
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 09:17

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