WHAT CAUSES THE TIDES?
Tides are periodic rises and falls of large bodies of water. Tides are caused by the gravitational interaction between the Earth and the Moon. The gravitational attraction of the moon causes the oceans to bulge out in the direction of the moon. Another bulge occurs on the opposite side, since the Earth is also being pulled toward the moon (and away from the water on the far side). Since the earth is rotating while this is happening, two tides occur each day.

 

 

 

 

 

Spring tides are especially strong tides (they do not have anything to do with the season Spring). They occur when the Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are in a line. The gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun both contribute to the tides. Spring tides occur during the full moon and the new moon.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Proxigean Spring Tide is a rare, unusually high tide. This very high tide occurs when the moon is both unusually close to the Earth (at its closest perigee, called the proxigee) and in the New Moon phase (when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth). The proxigean spring tide occurs at most once every 1.5 years.
 

Proxigean tide

Neap tides are especially weak tides. They occur when the gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun are perpendicular to one another (with respect to the Earth). Neap tides occur during quarter moons.

When will the Proxigean Tides arrive between 2008-2020?

12/12/2008        Full
1/30/2010         Full
3/19/2011         Full
5/6/2012          Full
6/23/2013         Full
8/10/2014         Full
9/28/2015         Full
11/14/2016        Full
5/25/2017         New
1/2/2018          Full
7/13/2018         New
8/30/2019         New
10/16/2020        New
12/4/2021         New
1/21/2023         New

New Moon is pretty bad because both the Sun and the Moon are on the same side of the Earth, and with the Moon near its closest point to the Earth, the tide- making potential is highest. I will probably not plan to be on the beach on the above dates!
 

 

 

 

 

Neap tides are especially weak tides. They occur when the gravitational forces of the Moon and the Sun are perpendicular to one another (with respect to the Earth). Neap tides occur during quarter moons.

 

What Causes Waves?
The winds cause waves on the surface of the ocean (and on lakes). The wind transfers some of its energy to the water, through friction between the air molecules and the water molecules. Stronger winds (like storm surges) cause larger waves. You can make your own miniature waves by blowing across the surface of a pan of water.

Waves of water do not move horizontally, they only move up and down (a wave does not represent a flow of water). You can see a demonstration of this by watching a floating buoy bob up and down with a wave; it does not, however, move horizontally with the wave.

 

 

 

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