Atmospheric angular momentum variations of Earth, Mars and Venus at seasonal time scales
Karatekin, O × de Viron, O Lambert, S Dehant, V Rosenblatt, P Van Hoolst, Tim Le Maistre, S #
Planetary and Space Science vol:59 issue:10 pages:923-933
Atmospheric angular momentum variations of a planet are associated with the global atmospheric mass redistribution and the wind variability. The exchange of angular momentum between the fluid layers and the solid planet is the main cause for the variations of the planetary rotation at seasonal time scales. In the present study, we investigate the angular momentum variations of the Earth. Mars and Venus, using geodetic observations, output of state-of-the-art global circulation models as well as assimilated data. We discuss the similarities and differences in angular momentum variations, planetary rotation and angular momentum exchange for the three terrestrial planets. We show that the atmospheric angular momentum variations for Mars and Earth are mainly annual and semi-annual whereas they are expected to be "diurnal" on Venus. The wind terms have the largest contributions to the LOD changes of the Earth and Venus whereas the matter term is dominant on Mars due to the CO2 sublimation/condensation. The corresponding LOD variations (Delta LOD) have similar amplitudes on Mars and Earth but are much larger on Venus, though more difficult to observe. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.