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  • Article
  • Open Access

Incessant excitation of the Earth’s free oscillations

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 4 and
  • 5
Earth, Planets and Space201450:BF03352080

  • Received: 5 November 1997
  • Accepted: 10 December 1997
  • Published:


We, for the first time, report the evidence of incessant excitation of the Earth’s free oscillations, mainly the fundamental spheroidal modes in a frequency range from 0.3 to 5 mHz, based on the three year record of a superconducting gravimeter at Syowa Station, East Antarctica. The frequency-time spectrogram of this record is striped by more than 30 lines at nGal level parallel to the time axis, mostly corresponding to the fundamental spheroidal modes. This spectrogram is characterized by relatively efficient excitation of gravest fundamental modes, enhancement of signal intensities in the austral winter and amplification of signal in the frequency band from 3 to 4 mHz. Assuming that earthquakes are only the sources for the free oscillations, we calculate the synthetic spectrograms, which have not shown such a series of parallel lines as observed. The result of this synthetic test and characteristics of the observed spectrogram suggest that the mode signals we found are not of earthquake origin. We tentatively suggest atmospheric or oceanic origin for this newly discovered phenomenon of the solid Earth.


  • Free Oscillation
  • Synthetic Seismogram
  • nGal Level
  • Superconducting Gravimeter
  • Syowa Station