Estimates of anelastic dissipation in the Earth's torsional modes



The decay of the amplitude of the free modes of the
Earth is a potential source of information on the mechanism of dissipation
of the elastic energy of the Earth.
However there are serious difficulties in the interpretation of the decay;
they are caused by several facts. One is the limited length of the significant
part of the record which prohibits to identify the splitting of all the modes
caused by the Earth rotation and also to follow the pattern in its rotation;
another reason is the coupling between modes, caused by the inhomogenities
and the flattening of the Earth, which can transfer energy from one mode
to another. The results available are therefore very few and of poor accuracy.
In order to seek new information on the mechanism of dissipation of
the elastic energy we solve a generalized form of the equation of elastodynamic
in which we have introduced some unspecified operators to represent
the dissipation of the elastic energy. By confronting these operators with
the observations we would hope to find informations on the mechanism
of dissipation. Unfortunately the laws of variation of Q with frequency,
found by various authors who were using different observations, are not in
agreement and are very uncertain. Therefore we can only estimate the
average values of the parameters of the supposed mechanisms of dissipation.
We analyze also the dissipation of energy due to viscous frictions at
the core mantle boundary. This dissipation would be negligible even for
viscosities of the core up to 1010 poise

Full Text:




Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X