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Tides Webquest

Part I: Background on Tides


Begin your information search by using your textbook and accessing
http://www.nos.noaa.gov/education/tides/welcome.html
As you read through the tutorial, answer the questions below that correspond
to each section of the tutorial.
What are Tides?
1. What is a basic definition of a tide?
ides are !ery long period wa!es in response to forces from the sun
and moon.
". What is a high tide? What is a low tide?
A high tide occurs whene!er the highest part of the wa!e reaches a
certain location. A low tide corresponds to the lowest part of the wa!e.
#. What is tidal range?
A tidal range is the difference in height between high and low tides.
What Causes Tides?
$. ides are caused by the gra!itational attraction of what two celestial
bodies?
%un and &oon
'. What does (ewton)s law of uni!ersal gra!itational state?
(ewton)s law of uni!ersal gra!itational state states that gra!itational
attraction between two bodies is proportional to their masses.
Basically, the greater the mass of an ob*ect, the greater the
gra!itational pull is.
+. Which celestial body has a greater effect on tidal forces on ,arth?
-ur %un has a greater effect because it is larger in mass and it)s
gra!itational attraction is 1.. times more than the moon.
Gravity, Inertia, and the Two Bulges
.. /ow does the moon create a bulge?
When the sun)s gra!itational pull exceeds inertia, and the water starts
being pulled towards the moon, a bulge is created.
0. What causes a bulge to be created on the opposite side of the ,arth or
the 1far side2 from the moon?
When inertia exceeds the sun)s gra!itational pull, water is pulled away
from ,arth, a bulge is created.
Changing ngles and Changing Tides
3. 4escribe how changes in the relati!e positions of the moon and sun
change in relation to the ,arth?
he changes of positions ha!e an effect on daily tidal heights and tidal
current intensity.
15. At what point is the sun at its minimum declination and its maximum
declination?
&inimum declination occurs during the !ernal 6&arch "17 and autumnal
6%eptember "17 equinoxes.
!requency o" Tides # The $unar %ay
11. 8ompare and contrast a solar and lunar day. /ow long is a lunar day?
A lunar day is "$ hours and '5 minutes and represents the time it takes
for a specific location on ,arth to rotate under a specific point on the
moon. he solar day is a full "$ hours and represents the time it takes
for a specific location on ,arth to rotate from a specific point under the
sun.
1". Why do most coastal areas experience two high tides and two low
tides?
%ince we rotate through two tidal bulges each day, we experience two
high and two low tides daily.
1#. /ow long does it take for high tide to occur? /ow long is the time
between low and high tide?
A high tide occurs e!ery 1" hours and "' minutes and takes + hours
and 1".' minutes to rotate back into a low tide.
Tidal &ariations # The In"luence o" Position and %istance
1$. What causes spring tides? What causes neap tides? /ow many spring
and neap tides occur in a lunar month?
%pring tides are caused when high and low tides are extreme. (eap
tides are caused by moderate high and low tides. 4uring each lunar
month, two sets of spring tides and two sets of low tides occur.
1'. /ow are tide9generating forces affected when the moon is closest to
the ,arth 6or perigee7? When the moon is farthest away from the ,arth
6or apogee7? /ow does this affect the tides that are produced?
When the moon reaches its perigee, tide9generating forces are higher
than usual. When the moon reaches its apogee, the tide9generating
forces are much lower.
What ""ects Tides in ddition to the 'un and (oon?
1+. /ow are the magnitudes of tides affected by shorelines? By mid9ocean
islands?
When oceanic tidal bulges hit wide continental margins, the height of a
can be magnified. But mid9ocean islands typically experience !ery
small tides.
1.. /ow does a funnel9shaped bay compare to a narrow inlet and shallow
water?
:unnel9shaped bays can dramatically alter tidal magnitudes. (arrow
inlet and shallow water also tend to dissipate incoming tides.
10. What is the effect of strong tidal ri!ers on tides in estuaries?
;owerful seasonal ri!er flows in the spring can se!erely alter or mask
the incoming tide.
13. What other abiotic factors affect tides? 8ompare and contrast wind and
weather patterns that affect tides.
-ther abiotic facts that can affect tides include local wind and weather
patterns. /igh wind pressure can depress sea le!els, while low wind
pressure can cause much higher tides than predicted.