103-0178-00L  Geodetic Earth Monitoring

SemesterSpring Semester 2021
LecturersM. Rothacher, B. Soja
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


103-0178-00 GGeodetic Earth Monitoring3 hrs
Mon08:45-11:30HCP E 47.1 »
M. Rothacher, B. Soja

Catalogue data

AbstractThe three pillars of geodesy, i.e. the geometry, rotation and gravity field of the Earth contribute to Earth system monitoring and will be considered here. 1) Earth rotation: theory, estimation and interpretation; 2) Gravity field: satellite missions, theory, estimation and interpretation; 3) Geodynamics (geometry): plate tectonics, earthquake cycle, isostasy and uplift rates.
ObjectiveUnderstand the basics of Earth rotation and gravity field theory, with what type of methods they are determined and what they contribute to monitoring the Earth system. Get familiar with the major geodynamic processes within the crust and mantle and how they are being observed and monitored.
ContentPart 1: Earth rotation
- Kinematics of a solid body
- Dynamic Eulerian equations of Earth rotation
- Kinematic Eulerian equations of Earth rotation
- Free rotation of the flattened Earth
- Influence of Sun and Moon, Precession, Nutation
- Earth as an elastic body
- Determination of Earth rotation parameters
- Mass distribution and mass transport affecting Earth rotation
Part 2: Gravity field
- Satellite missions
- Gravity field determination from satellite data
- Geoid computation from terrestrial data
- Combination of satellite and terrestrial gravity fields
- Precision of geoid computations
- Mass distribution and transport affecting the Earth gravity field
Part 3: Geodynamics:
- Plate tectonics theory: including ocean bottom floor magnetism Curie temperature, age of the ocean bottom floor
- Notions on crust material (oceanic/continental)
- Concepts of mantle plumes, mantle convection and mantle flow and evidences supporting them
- Earthquake cycle: elastic rebound theory, strain and stress measurements and measurements in the field during inter-, co- and post-seismic periods
- Isostasy and strength models
- Surface uplift rate applied to continental crust, volcanism, eroded areas.
Lecture notesA script and slides will be made available
LiteratureBeutler G., Methods of Celestial Mechanics. II: Application to Planetary System, Geodynamics and Satellite Geodesy, Springer, ISBN 3-540-40750-2, 2005.

Hofmann-Wellenhof B. and Moritz H., Physical Geodesy, Springer, ISBN 13-978-3-211-33544-4, 2005/2006.

Fowler C.M.R., The Solid Earth: An Introduction to Global Geophysics, Cambridge Univ. Press, ISBN 0-521-38590-3, 2005.
Prerequisites / NoticeRecommended: Basics of Higher Geodesy
Of advantage: Basics of Geodetic Earth Observation

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits4 credits
ExaminersM. Rothacher, B. Soja
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationoral 30 minutes
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

No public learning materials available.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


There are no additional restrictions for the registration.

Offered in

Geomatic Engineering MasterMajor in Space Geodesy and NavigationWInformation