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The Earth expansion problem has attracted great interest, and the present study demonstrates that the Earth has been expanding, at least over the recent several decades. Space-geodetic data recorded at stations distributed globally were used (including global positioning system data, very-long-baseline interferometry, satellite laser ranging stations, and stations for Doppler orbitography and radiopositioning integrated by satellite), which covered a period of more than 10 years in the International Terrestrial Reference Frame 2008. A triangular network covering the surface of the Earth was thus constructed based on the spherical Delaunay approach, and average-weighted vertical variations in the Earth surface were estimated. Calculations show that the Earth is expanding at present at a rate of 0.24 ± 0.04 mm/yr. Furthermore, based on the Earth Gravitational Model 2008 and the secular variation rates of the second-degree coefficients estimated by satellite laser ranging and Earth mean-pole data, the principal inertia moments of the Earth (A, B, C) and in particular their temporal variations, were determined: the simple mean value of the three principal inertia moments (i.e., [A+B+C]/3) is gradually increasing. This clearly demonstrates that the Earth has been expanding, at least over the recent decades, and the data show that the Earth is expanding at a rate ranging from 0.17 ± 0.02 mm/yr to 0.21 ± 0.02 mm/yr, which coincides with the space geodetic evidence. Hence, based on both space geodetic observations and gravimetric data, we conclude that the Earth has been expanding at a rate of about 0.2 mm/yr over recent decades.
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