Undersea mountains slow down Earth rotation

Image of the month - June 2002

Moon is the most important body of our skies, along with the Sun. Among its many effects on Earth, there is the lengthening of the terrestrial days, through the tides. With oceanic tides, the shifting water rub on the ocean floor, all the more when there is undersea mountains. This friction slow down Earth rotation
Altimetric measurements give clues to quantify this phenomena, both with tidal amplitude and undersea reliefs computation.

Near the Comoro Island, between Africa and Madagascar, and East of this island (Mascarene ridge) undersea mounts are very specific. (Credits Noaa/Scripps Institution of Oceanography).
Their signature is clear on the tidal energy dissipation map made from Topex/Poseidon data. (Credits Legos).

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