earthtide - Compute grids or time-series of solid Earth tides


gmt earthtide -T[min/max/]inc[+n] | -Tfile|list -Ggrdfile [ -Cx|e,y|n,z|v ] [ -Iincrement ] [ -Llon/lat ] [ -Rregion ] [ -S ] [ -V[level] ] [ -rreg ] [ –PAR=value ]

Note: No space is allowed between the option flag and the associated arguments.


Compute the three components of solid Earth tides as time-series or grids. Optionally compute also Sun and Moon position in lon,lat. The output can be either in the form of a grid or as a table printed to stdout. The format of the table data is: time north east vertical in units of meters.

Required Arguments

Either -G, -S or -L

Write one or more tide component directly to grids; no table data are written to standard output. If more than one component are specified via -C then grdfile must contain the format flag %s so that we can embed the component code in the file names (n for north; e for east and v for vertical). If only one component is selected with -C than no code is appended to grid name (an no need to set the format flag %s). The grid(s) are computed at the time set by -T, if that option is used, or at the now time calculated in UTC from the computer clock.
Output position of Sun and Moon in geographical coordinates plus distance in meters. Output is a Mx7 matrix where M is the number of times (set by -T) and columns are time, sun_lon, sun_lat, sun_dist moon_lon, moon_lat, moon_dist
-T[min/max/]inc[+n] | -Tfile|list
Make evenly spaced time-steps from min to max by inc. Append +n to indicate <inc> is the number of t-values to produce over the range instead. Append a valid time unit (h|m|s) to the increment. If only min is given then we use that date and time for the calculations. If no -T is provided get current time in UTC from the computer clock. If no -G or -S are provided then -T is interpreted to mean compute a time-series at the location specified by -L, thus then -L becomes mandatory. When -G and -T, only first time T series is considered. Finally, dates may range from 1901 through 2099.

Optional Arguments

Select which component to write to individual grids. Requires -G. Append comma-separated codes for available components: x or e for the east component; y or n for the north component; and z or v for the vertical component. For example, -Ce,v, will write 2 grids. One with east and other with the vertical components. If -G is set but not -C then the default is to write the vertical component.
x_inc [and optionally y_inc] is the grid spacing. Optionally, append a suffix modifier. Geographical (degrees) coordinates: Append m to indicate arc minutes or s to indicate arc seconds. If one of the units e, f, k, M, n or u is appended instead, the increment is assumed to be given in meter, foot, km, Mile, nautical mile or US survey foot, respectively, and will be converted to the equivalent degrees longitude at the middle latitude of the region (the conversion depends on PROJ_ELLIPSOID). If y_inc is given but set to 0 it will be reset equal to x_inc; otherwise it will be converted to degrees latitude. All coordinates: If +e is appended then the corresponding max x (east) or y (north) may be slightly adjusted to fit exactly the given increment [by default the increment may be adjusted slightly to fit the given domain]. Finally, instead of giving an increment you may specify the number of nodes desired by appending +n to the supplied integer argument; the increment is then recalculated from the number of nodes and the domain. The resulting increment value depends on whether you have selected a gridline-registered or pixel-registered grid; see GMT File Formats for details. Note: if -Rgrdfile is used then the grid spacing has already been initialized; use -I to override the values.
Geographical coordinate of the location where to compute a time-series. Coordinates are geodetic (ellipsoidal) latitude and longitude. GRS80 ellipsoid is used. (Which can be considered equivalent to the WGS84 ellipsoid at the sub-millimeter level.)
-Rxmin/xmax/ymin/ymax[+r][+uunit] (more ...)
Specify the region of interest. Used only with -G. If not set, defaults to -Rd
-bo[ncols][type] (more ...)
Select native binary output.
-ocols[,...] (more ...)
Select output columns (0 is first column).
-r (more ...)
Set pixel node registration [gridline].
-V[level] (more ...)
Select verbosity level [c].
-^ or just -
Print a short message about the syntax of the command, then exits (NOTE: on Windows just use -).
-+ or just +
Print an extensive usage (help) message, including the explanation of any module-specific option (but not the GMT common options), then exits.
-? or no arguments
Print a complete usage (help) message, including the explanation of all options, then exits.
Temporarily override a GMT default setting; repeatable. See gmt.conf for parameters.


To compute a global grid of the vertical component with a grid step of 30m at noon of 18 Jun 2018, (note: we are using the defaults for -R and -I) try

gmt earthtide -T2018-06-18T12:00:00 -Gsolid_tide_up.grd

To obtain a one day long time-series, starting at same date, at the -7 W, 37 N and 1 minute interval, try

gmt earthtide -T2018-06-18T/2018-06-19T/1m -L-7/37 > solid_tide.dat

The get the Sun and Moon position in geographical coordinates at the now time

gmt earthtide -S


  1. All times, both input and output, are in UTC.

See Also

gmt.conf, gmt,