Tides Great & Small

PrintPrintEmailEmail
Your rating: None Average: 4 of 5 (5 votes)

Tides can range in size from small to great, and certain areas of the world are prone to specifically-sized tides.

Some parts of the world, such as Tahiti, a Polynesian island in the South Pacific, have no lunar tides at all. There, a single daily tide caused by the Sun raises the seas just 1 foot. In other places, such as the famed Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia, tides routinely rise and fall by 40 feet and can get much higher during extreme conditions that produce proxigean tides.

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, American poet (1807-1882)

Throughout the world, extreme tidal variations are largely due to the shape of the ocean bottom and a bay's orientation and outline. High tides can be either exaggerated in height or reduced by the shape of the bay and the way the undersea surface rises at that location.

Tahiti (and all of Polynesia), however, experiences an entirely different effect. Think of it this way: Just as carrying a shallow pan of water sets up a swishing back-and-forth motion that soon makes the water spill over the pan's sides, there is a middle, or fulcrum, point where the water hardly moves at all. The islands of Polynesia are located right at the fulcrum point for the Pacific basin (this fulcrum point has nothing to do with the equator), resulting in almost no tidal movement.

These and many other local physical variations, some still poorly understood, produce the fascinating range of tides found around the world.

Find times for high and low tides for your area. See our Tides Predictor Calculator!

Related Articles

More Articles:

Comments

This is all fascinating, but

By Robert Simoneau

This is all fascinating, but I just want to know what time High and low tide is!

The Tide Calculator is

By Catherine Boeckmann

The Tide Calculator is here: http://www.almanac.com/birding-fishing/tides

"there is a middle, or

By Relle

"there is a middle, or fulcrum, point where the water hardly moves at all. The islands of Polynesia are located right at the fulcrum point for the Pacific basin (this fulcrum point has nothing to do with the equator), resulting in almost no tidal movement." <----------- ITS IN THE ARTICLE... ALMOST NO TIDAL MOVEMENT.... SO IF THERE'S NO TIDAL MOVEMENT THERE IS NO HIGH & LOW TIDE... SMH

Post new comment

Before posting, please review all comments. Due to the volume of questions, Almanac editors can respond only occasionally, as time allows. We also welcome tips from our wonderful Almanac community!

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Links to specified hosts will have a rel="nofollow" added to them.

More information about formatting options

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.