Tides

A:

An ebb tide occurs when a tidal current moves away from land. Tidal currents moving toward land are called floods. Ebbs and floods are categorized as reversing currents.

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  • How are sea waves formed?

    Q: How are sea waves formed?

    A: Many factors impact the generation, severity, frequency and strength of ocean waves. One of the most important factors leading to the formation of an ocean wave is the wind. The shapes of the basins of the ocean dictate the ocean's regular movements and also affect waves.
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  • What are lunar tides?

    Q: What are lunar tides?

    A: According to Science and the Sea, lunar tides are the most common tides and are caused by the Moon's gravity. Although the Sun's gravity is stronger, it is farther from the Earth than the Moon, which is why lunar tides are more than two times stronger than solar tides.
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  • How long does high tide last?

    Q: How long does high tide last?

    A: 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.
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  • How often do tides occur?

    Q: How often do tides occur?

    A: Ocean tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun. Due to the rotation of the Earth, locations will experience two high and two low tides each day. An alignment of the Sun and Moon will result in more extreme tides, known as spring tides.
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  • Q: Where can you find information about local tides?

    A: Find information about tides at Tides4Fishing.com or TidesAndCurrents.NOAA.gov. Tides4Fishing.com features tide tables and related data for the U.S. East, West and Gulf Coasts, and Hawaii and Alaska. TidesAndCurrents.NOAA.gov features tide tables and related data for these locations and for other U.S. territories, and for many Pacific and Caribbean islands.
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  • Q: Why do waves break?

    A: Waves break when the back of the wave moves faster than the front of the wave, causing it to spill over. The shape of a breaking wave is dictated by the shape of the ocean floor below it, with gentle slopes causing a gentle spill on a cresting wave.
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  • Q: How does the moon affect the tides?

    A: 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.
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  • Q: What causes ocean tides?

    A: Tides, the periodic rise and fall in the levels of large bodies of water, are the product of gravitational forces. They result from the interaction of the Earth with both the sun and the moon, though the moon is the most significant influence year round.
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  • Q: How are tidal waves formed?

    A: Tidal waves are caused by the gravitational fields of the sun, the moon and the earth. A tidal wave is a small, regularly occurring wave caused by the shifting of the tide.
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  • Q: What is tidal energy used for?

    A: Tidal energy is used to supply power plants with electricity. Tidal energy harnesses the power of water and the ocean in various ways. Very few commercial plants exist as tidal energy is still not widely in use.
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  • Q: What causes waves?

    A: Waves are caused by wind blowing on the ocean surface. Stronger winds cause larger waves. Variations in wind speed and duration determine the size and frequency of waves. The horizontal length of the wave is established by the horizontal distance between its two crests and the vertical length is established by the vertical distance between the crests. Large waves can also be created by undersea seismic activity.
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  • How do rogue waves form?

    Q: How do rogue waves form?

    A: How and when rogue waves form is still unknown and being discovered by scientists. A few of their causes, however, are thought to include constructive interference and focusing of wave energy.
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  • Q: What causes tides?

    A: Tides, which are rising and falling sea levels, are caused by the effects of gravitational forces of the moon and sun combined with the Earth's rotation. Tidal magnitudes are affected by shoreline shape, the shape of bodies of water and environmental factors.
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  • What is the most common tidal pattern around the world?

    Q: What is the most common tidal pattern around the world?

    A: The most common tide pattern around the world is that of semi-diurnal tides. This pattern contains two high tides and two low tides of the same height occurring in a 24-hour period. Semi-diurnal tides occur when the moon is over the equator.
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  • Q: How do you interpret local tide tables?

    A: A local tide table displays the predicted times and heights of high and low tides. The height of the water is relative to a point called Mean Lower Low Water, which is the average height of the lowest tide during the recording period of a tidal station.
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  • Q: What are high tides and low tides?

    A: Low tides and high tides occur as a result of gravitational forces between the moon and Earth. There is a gravitational force exerted on every object on the planet by the moon. The effect of the gravitational force is more apparent on bodies of water than it is on land.
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  • Why is the bottom layer of the ocean the coldest?

    Q: Why is the bottom layer of the ocean the coldest?

    A: The bottom layer of the ocean is the coldest because cold water has a higher density than warm water. The colder water sinks to the bottom of the ocean. This movement of water creates the ocean currents.
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  • Q: What causes neap tides?

    A: 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.
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  • Q: What can you learn from tide tables?

    A: Tide tables can tell you when the water level will be at its highest and lowest at a particular location. Tide tables can also be used to predict the height of water at times between high and low tide.
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  • Q: How do tides affect marine life?

    A: Tides affect marine life by causing fish to gather in one spot, depending on the species and water depth. Strong tidal currents cause a concentration of bait and smaller fish that attracts larger fish to the area. Predicting tides is a tool fishermen use to improve their catches.
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  • Q: Is there a red tide in Siesta Key, Fla.?

    A: The beaches in Siesta Key, Fla. periodically experience red tide, a condition that occurs when high levels of red-tinted and harmful algae are present in the water. During red tides, the ocean water may display a reddish-brown hue.
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