Variation of the Earth’s Rotation in Historical Time

  • Walter H. Munk


Much of the confusion prevailing in our subject results from failure to solve two equations in two unknowns. Suppose that irregularities in rotation cause the Earth to occupy a certain angular position in space at a time τ later than if it had rotated at a uniform rate. The amount by which the Earth is slow is itself a function of time, and in fact
$$\tau (t)=-\iint{\frac{\dot{\omega }(t)}{\omega }}dtdt$$
where ω(t) is the variable angular velocity of the Earth \(\dot{\omega }(t)\) and its time derivative.* The associated discrepancies between the observed and calculated longitudes of the Moon and Sun would equal the angle through which they traveled in a time τ.


Historical Time Monthly Notice Geological Past Total Dissipation Tidal Dissipation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press 1966

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter H. Munk

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