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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? The daily rise & fall of Earths
oceans caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and
Sun.
. What is a high tide? What is a low tide? High tide occurs when the
crest of a wave reaches a certain location, while low tide
occurs when the trough reaches a certain location.
!. What is tidal range? The diference between the heights of high
tide & low tide.
What Causes Tides?
". #ides are caused by the gra$itational attraction of what two celestial bodies? The
sun & the Moon
%. What does &ewton's law of uni$ersal gra$itational state? The greater the
ass of the ob!ects and the closer they are to each other,
the greater the gravitational attraction between the.
(. Which celestial body has a greater effect on tidal forces on )arth? The sun
Gravity, Inertia, and the Two Bulges
*. +ow does the moon create a bulge? The oons gravitational pull
e"ceeds #nertia, pulling the water towards the oon.
1,. What causes a bulge to be created on the opposite side of the )arth or the -far
side. from the moon? #nertia e"ceeds the gravitational pull of the
oon, so the water continues to ove in a straight line,
oving away fro the Earth.
Changing ngles and Changing Tides
11. /escribe how changes in the relati$e positions of the moon and sun change in
relation to the )arth? $s their positions change, their gravitational
pull either inially or a"ially decreases.
1. At what point is the sun at its minimum declination and its maximum declination?
%uring the e&uino"es, the sun is at its iniu
declination, during the solstices , the sun is at its a"iu
declination.
!requency o" Tides # The $unar %ay
10. 1ompare and contrast a solar and lunar day. +ow long is a lunar day? The
solar day is '( hrs long, while the )unar day is '( hrs and *+
inutes long.
1". Why do most coastal areas experience two high tides and two low tides?
,ecause the Earth rotates through two tidal bulges every
lunar day.
1%. +ow long does it take for high tide to occur? +ow long is the time between low
and high tide? High tides occur every -' hours and '* inutes,
a.ing the tie n between high tide and low tide / hours
and -'.* inutes.
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? Spring tides occur when the Earth, Sun,
and oon are aligned, causing the solar tide to have an
additive efect on the lunar tide. $ neap tide occurs when
the oon and sun are at an angle to eachother, causing the
solar tides to partially cancel out the lunar tides. %uring
each )unar onth, two sets of spring tides, and two sets of
neap tides occur.
1*. +ow are tide2generating forces affected when the moon is closest to the )arth 3or
perigee4? when the moon is farthest away from the )arth 3or apogee4? +ow does this
affect the tides that are produced? $t the perigee, tide generating
forces are higher than usual, producing above average
ranges in the tides, while at the apogee, tide generating
forces are lower than usual, producing below average
ranges in the tides.
,. +ow are tide2generating forces affected when the )arth is closest to the sun 3or
perihelion4? when the )arth is farthest from the sun 3or aphelion4? +ow does this
affect the tides that are produced? $t the perihelion, tidal ranges are
enhanced, while at the aphelion, tidal ranges are reduced.
What ""ects Tides in ddition to the 'un and (oon?
1. +ow are the magnitudes of tides affected by shorelines? By mid2ocean islands?
$t a saller scale, the agnitude of tides can be strongly
in0uenced by the shape of the shoreline. Mid1oceanic
islands not near continental argins typically e"perience
very sall tides of - eter or less.
. +ow does a funnel2shaped bay compare to a narrow inlet and shallow water?
2unnel1shaped bays in particular can draatically alter tidal
agnitude.
!. What is the affect of strong tidal ri$ers on tides in estuaries? #n estuaries
with strong tidal rivers, powerful seasonal river 0ows in the
spring can severely alter or as. the incoing tide.
5. What other abiotic factors affect tides? 1ompare and contrast wind and weather
patterns that affect tides. )ocal winds and wind patterns can also
alter tides.