Mechanism Behind The Tide Formation
Post on 07,July 2012   7:39 PM
By - Miss. Ankita Jaiswal
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Tides refer to the phenomenon of regular rise and fall of the level of water in the seas and oceans. Water in the oceans and seas rises and falls twice in day. The successive high tides are observed about 12.30 hrs apart. In between the two high tides occur two low tides when the level of water in these water bodies becomes lower. Tides are primarily a result of attraction of the moon. This force is more effective upon water since the mass involved is water and can easily rise under the gravitational pull exerted by the moon.


The tide producing force and the tides themselves vary a great deal in magnitude. In fact it is not only the moon, but the sun also exerts a pull force upon the earth and thus is responsible for the occurrence of tides. However, the tide producing force exerted by moon is far greater owing to its nearness to the earth. High tides are of greater magnitude than normal when the tide producing forces of moon and the sun are acting in such a way that they complement each other. Such tide of higher magnitude is called spring tides. A spring tide occurs of the days of full moon and new moon, when sun earth and moon comes in straight line.Conversly when the tides producing forces of the sun and the moon acts in such a manner that they neutralize each other, the tidal range is much lower than normal. Such tide of lower range is called neap tides. Neap tides are absorbed at the time of the first and the last quarters of the moon when the sun and the moon forms three corners of the triangle and the tide producing forces of the sun and the moon acts at the right angle to each other. Also, the tides can be between 15 and 20 per cent greater or lesser than the average depending upon weather the moon is in perigee or apogee. These are known as perigean or apogean tides. Due to the shorter moon at the time of perigean, the perigean tides are shorter than the apogean tides.

The tide range not only varies time to time but also from place to place. Generally a higher tidal range is observed in the narrow bays and gulfs were large amount water can be pushed into a narrow area by tidal waves originating in the open seas. The large amount of water thus pushed into a narrow inlet or a bay causes a very high tidal range in such areas. Bay and Fundy has the highest tidal range in the world. The Head of the Bay of Bengal and Gulf of Katchch have higher tidal range long the Indian cost. Location experiencing high tidal range is ideal for generating tidal energy.


Moreover, tides also affect the water level of rivers, estuaries, etc. Sometimes the rising water of the seas and oceans may advance upstream in the rivers as a nearly vertical wall several feet high. This is known a tidal bore. The mouth of the river hoogly is wet Bengal is well known for this phenomenon. Although tides simply only a rhythmic rise and fall of water sometimes tides give rise to tidal currents also which carry flow of water from one place to another. This causes stream like flow into or out of the bays and gulfs, especially where the bays etc are connected to the open sea by very narrow inlets.


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