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.Continue Reading
Lunar and solar tides occur in regular cycles. Lunar tides occur over a 24 hour and 50 minute cycle, while solar tides occur over a 24 hour cycle. In addition to these daily high- and low-tide cycles, the monthly lunar cycle produces what are called spring tides and neap tides.
Spring tides occur at the new moon and the full moon. All three gravitation forces that cause the tides are aligned at spring tide, causing a greater than average difference between high and low tides. Neap tides occur at the half moon and three-quarters moon; at neap tide, the sun and moon are 90 degrees apart. Their gravitational forces work against each other, causing a smaller than average difference between high and low tides.
The world's smallest tidal distances occur in the Mediterranean Sea, where the difference between high and low tide is less than 3 feet. The greatest distances are found in the Bay of Fundy in Canada, where the difference can exceed 50 feet.Learn more about Tides
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.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Tidal waves are caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon on the Earth. The moon's gravitational pull has a greater influence on Earth because it is closer. The moon creates a bulge in the ocean on the side of Earth closest to it.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 >