All tides, including the cycle of spring and neap tides, are caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon on Earth's ocean tides. Each month, the angles and alignment of the sun, moon and Earth work to influence the cycle of tides.Continue Reading
Twice a month, during the full and new moons, the sun, moon, and Earth are in alignment with one another and the solar tide works together with the lunar tide, creating very pronounced high and low tides. This type of tidal pattern is called spring tide.
During the alternating weeks, the sun and moon are at right angles to one another so the solar tide partially cancels the lunar tide, resulting in a very moderate high/low tide cycle. This pattern is called neap tide and occurs twice monthly.Learn more about Tides
High tides are part of a cycle of rising or receding water that lasts for approximately 6 hours and 13 minutes. Low tides last for the same amount of time.Full Answer >
The moon's gravitational force pulls water towards it, creating a high tide on the surface of the ocean closest to the moon. Also, the centrifugal force created by the Earth and moon orbiting around a central point creates a similar bulge on the opposite side, creating a second high tide.Full Answer >
Tides are caused by a combination of three factors: the moon's gravity, the sun's gravity and the earth's own gravity. The moon's gravity is the most significant of these forces; it exerts 2.2 times more force on the tides than the sun's gravity does.Full Answer >
The daily tidal range is greatest at the new moon and full moon, when the tidal pulls of the moon and sun are in phase with each other. This phenomenon is called a spring tide and is strongest when it coincides with the vernal or autumnal equinox.Full Answer >