Earths Volcanism and Continental Drift  are computable and predictable!


With finite element analysis (FEM) you can simulate the forces that the moon (and the sun**) act upon earth. This is a quite complicated process with feed-back effects and with many influental parameters which must get understood by and by. Whats more the gravitational data available today (by ESA or NASA) is not perfect for these computations.


As shown on other pages of this site celestial mechanics is not the lossless process as thought in the last century (and still in this century by many scientists!). Instead it is a lossy process, what concerns the sun-planets-constellation but even more interestingly in the system moon-earth. Earths volcanism is due to quite another fact than the solar orbit: I would like to describe it as a gravitational near-distance-effect. It should be evident that the following description is very much simplified.


Common knowledge is today, that earths gravity field is not constant. Different geological facts - the land masses, the oceans or metalurgical deposits- imply a non constant gravity force if you travel around the world. As a negative effect this is for instance known to  satelite operators. This inconstant distribution of masses on the earth is now what produces additional heat in the system earth-moon.


Earth's magnetic  field

The basic production of earths magnetic field functions in this process in much the same way as sun's magnetic field: while in the case of the sun the outer belt rotates faster than the core, it is in the case of the earth inverse: the core rotates faster (earths crust and outer core are slowed down by the mechanisms described below, Earth's inner core wants to maintain the original rotation rate.).

The empericaly found multiple phase changes of earths magnetic field cannot finally be answered: They can result from a slightly asymetric rotation of earths core due to centrifugal or gravitational forces. This depends on deeper knowledge about gravitation, which dont exist today. But the reversal of earths magnetic field could also be connected to the way the moon orbits the earth. Even a change in the plane of rotation in the past could be the reason. ( So there is a new field open for speculation...)


Four main sources of heat in earth can be distinguished:

  1. Tidal deformation of earth (not only bulges of water move around the earth by gravitational forces of the moon and centrifugal forces, the landmasses too are lifted and released producing internal friction)
  2. Internal friction through inconstant gravity field, inconstant mass distribution (density)
  3. Internal gravitational heating (Helmholtz, Kelvin)
  4. Radioactive decay of natural elements (not to be confused with initial atomic reactions in central earth! The results of this study should be taken with a grain of salt and are surely not the last word in this question.)

If a celestial body rotates in the gravitational field of another celestial body there is work done. This is the reason for earths fluid interior in contrast to a "nuclear reactor deep within the earth" as believed by todays physics.


Lately published  study(Dec 24 of 2009) by Berkeley confirms these computations

A study by Berkeley which confirms (at least partly) these computational results by measurements was published 14 days (on 23/24 of dec 2009) after  I did put this page in the net.  Even the important role of water, already stated 2002 on old_de.htm seems confirmed by these measurements. The water pumping effect of the moon described on the german page to this subject (vulkanismus.htm) seems also confirmed..

Other news referring to this study 1, 2,3,4,5,6,7,8.......

Further more it is today (2012) scientific consensus that the moon has stopped rotating and turning always the same face towards the earth because of internal friction due to gravitational forces.

Read: Quakes triggered by tides of solid Earth (strange, you got to reload the page 3-4 times till it comes...)


Some links to older studies

The main error is  trying to find direct links between the moon and earthquakes, which dont exist (normally, but see example above). The horizontal tug erxercised by the moon is really faint, not linear (like moving a piece of domino through other pieces) and then further modified or even exceeded e.g. by forces of the rising lava.

Seems they don't like external links to their pages, so link works only in addressbar:



General reading:

General earthquake facts and links


Java applets moon-earth (try to remember the mechanical model you saw in school - it was still the best)

Java applet moon-earth  another one still another one good one another one and another and another

Data and animations




C-routines for reading NASA data here. (Wait! Server quite slow)

It seems ESA and NASA are working on the same Problem. ESA e.g. here, NASA e.g. here. But I miss the essential role of the moon in the descriptions.

ESA GOCE Project. GOCE gravity field and geoid model data is expected at ESA’s Living Planet Symposium in Bergen, Norway, in June 2010.

Another ESA program "Swarm" tries to investigate earths magnetic field.


**previous lax formulation lead to misunderstandings with people who are not at home in astronomy, everybody else knew what "and in certain constellations the sun" should express: the addition of the gravitational forces of sun and moon in certain constellations.



Copyright 1999 R.Bitsch

Copyright 2006, 2009 R.Cooper-Bitsch

You could read this (the main statement) on my pages and since 2002 in the net.

This page was published in the net on dec 9 2009