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A small part of the tidal forcing field whose contribution is omitted in the conventional spherical harmonic development of the tidal potential is caused by the flattening of the Earth. It is a homogeneous tidal field of magnitude of about 1 ngal superposed on the commonly known tidal forcing field. The conventional tidal forcing field can be completely described by the spatial variation of the gravity field of the tide-generating body within the space occupied by the Earth. The advantage of this description is that any reference to the Earth's motion with respect to the tide-generating body (called revolution without rotation) can be avoided.
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