Electromagnetic torques in the core and resonant excitation of decadal polar motion
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Description: Motion of the rotation axis of the Earth contains decadal variations with amplitudes on the order of 10 mas. The origin of these decadal polar motions is unknown. A class of rotational normal modes of the core–mantle system termed torsional oscillations are known to affect the length of day (LOD) at decadal periods and have also been suggested as a possible excitation source for the observed decadal polar motion. Torsional oscillations involve relative motion between the outer core and the surrounding solid bodies, producing electromagnetic torques at the inner-core boundary (ICB) and core–mantle boundary (CMB). It has been proposed that the ICB torque can explain the excitation of the approximately 30-yr-period polar motion termed the Markowitz wobble. This paper uses the results of a torsional oscillation model to calculate the torques generated at Markowitz and other decadal periods and finds, in contrast to previous results, that electromagnetic torques at the ICB can not explain the observed polar motion. This article has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Journal International ©: 2004 RAS Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.