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relationship between moon phases & tides

The gravitational field of the moon is too strong to pose an impact on the Earth, most noticeably the water oceans. The Earth’s side which is in close proximity to the moon actually possesses a distinct bulge. The rising or falling of the ocean level results from the gravitational field of the moon pulling as it migrates around the Earth in orbit.

Even though the sun also influences the ocean tides, the moon plays a bigger role. The gravitational pull of the sun on the Earth is 178 times strong compared to that of the moon but the tidal bulges caused by it are much smaller.

Thus, tides are not caused by the moon’s gravitational forces or the lifting up of oceans by the sun. Instead, tides are created owing to the variation in the direction and strength of the gravitational pull depending upon the location on Earth. This variation leads to the creation of tidal forces which further cause tides.

Do you also possess a keen interest in working in Oceanography research laboratories? If yes, you must equip yourself with the in-depth knowledge of the Relationship Between Moon Phases & Tides. The highly qualified oceanography professionals at Sample Assignment are available round the clock to fulfill all your academic desires, drive away all your concerns, and provide you with the most efficient help with assignments and related coursework.

What are Tides?

Tides are considered one of the most authentic processes in the world. They are very long-period waves that migrate through the ocean when the forces are imposed by the sun and the moon. They arise in the ocean and then advance towards the coastlines wherein they are viewed as the regular rise or fall of the surface of the sea. This is because we know that the sun rises in the east whereas the stars appear at night so we are quite confident that the water of the ocean periodically rises or falls along the shores.

When the crest or the highest portion of the wave arrives at a specific location, high tide takes place; on the other hand, low tide is the trough or the lowest portion of the wave. The height difference between the low and high tide is known as the tidal range.

Levels of Tides

It is already clear that the tides are either rising or falling at the level of water in the ocean at any provided location. For instance, a tide rises over the beach for about six hours. In that case, the level of water will probably subside into the ocean for six hours. Since oceans are liquid, the bulge is quite more obvious compared to the land bulge.

Now, did you get to understand the high tides and low tides? If No, then keep on reading. The science assignment help experts at Sample Assignment have explained different tides separately.

High Tides

If water is advancing onto the shoreline to its farthest extent, it is known as high tide.

The Earth side directing towards the moon will possess a tidal bulge known as the direct tide. Likewise, the ocean will also bulge on the Earth’s opposite side. This is known as the opposite tide. The reason for its occurrence is that the Earth’s inertial force exceeds the moon’s force of gravity at this location. Hence, high tides exist on the Earth’s opposite sides simultaneously.

Low Tides

They are actually the receding/retreating waters in between the high tides. In a few locations, a low tide can only be a few feet, whereas, at other locations, the ocean may subside much farther. High tides and low tides both occur twice in 24 hours. However, as the moon rises 50 minutes delayed every day, the cycles of tide are also distinguished by the similar 50 minutes every day.

Spring Tides

The moon phases are also known to influence tides. When the moon reaches the new moon phase or its full moon phase, high tides reach their highest, and low tides are even lower than usual. The spring tides take place when the Earth, moon, and the sun all get aligned. The added sun’s gravity can cause the oceans to bulge even more in comparison to other times.

Spring Tides

Neap Tides

During the quarter phases of the moon, the sun pulls against the pull of gravity of the moon rather than with it. At such times with those tides, the resultant is the lowest high tide along with the highest low tide. In simpler terms, the least/lowest extreme distinction between the low and high tides is known as a neap tide.

Diurnal and Semidiurnal Tides

Now, suppose that the Earth is perfectly round having none of the big land masses. In that case, all water bodies in the world would be experiencing nearly two equal low tides and high tides every day. This pattern of tides is called semidiurnal tides. However, the Earth's continents cause disruption in the water bodies. So, this can lead to the production of distinct patterns of tides. For instance, a few water bodies, like the Gulf of Mexico, possesses diurnal tides, which signifies only one low and one high tide every day.

In accordance with the assessment help tutors, these terms can be recalled by just keeping in mind that the word 'diurnal' signifies 'happening or occurring every day.' Thus, we have seen that diurnal tides occur once every day. If we add ‘semi’ as a prefix that signifies 'half,' we would understand that semidiurnal tides occur every half day.

Too Close for Comfort

The tides may get impacted in case the moon reaches the perigee, or at the closest point of its orbit around the Earth. In combination with a new phase or full moon phase, a moon at perigee can lead to the production of the lowest and the highest tides. These highest or lowest tides can be predicted by scientists easily such that warnings may be issued for the plausible coastal flooding.

What Causes Tides?

So far it has been understood that gravity is one of the major forces that leads to the creation of tides. Sir Isaac Newton 1687 explained that ocean tides are actually the result of the sun and the moon’s attraction of gravity to the Earth’s oceans. In accordance with the universal gravitational law of Newton, the attraction of gravity between the two bodies is in direct proportion to their masses or inversely proportional to the squared distance between the bodies. Hence, the closer the objects to each other and the more the mass, the more is the attraction of gravity between them.

what causes tides

As a result, it can be now clearly said that the tidal forces are dependent upon the attractive force of gravity. With respect to the Earth’s forces of the tide, the distance between the two objects is generally more critical in comparison to their masses. Tidal generating forces vary/differ inversely as the cube of the distance from its tide-producing object. The attractive forces of gravity vary only inversely to the squared distance between the objects. The impact of distance over the tidal forces is viewed in the relationship between the moon, sun, and the water of Earth.

There are hundreds or thousands of questions around the topic of interest moon phases and tides, most of which are centered on the students in colleges or universities. Many students in Australia opt for the most premium help with assignments at Sample Assignment to get guidance with the topics or sub-topics from experts to circumvent time wastage doing something that may result in scoring poor grades in the end.

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To have a clearer glimpse of the type of assessment tasks related to the tides that our online tutors get to guide students with the solution, you can register on our website and view and download the assignment sample online. A snapshot of the assessment task solved under the expert’s guidance is depicted below for your reference:


tides sample

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Liu, Y. T. Calculation of Moon Phases and 24 Solar Terms.

Launer, J. (2021). Light and gravity: can the full moon really make you go mad?. Postgraduate medical journal97(1154), 831-832.

Ogan‐Bekiroglu, F. (2007). Effects of model‐based teaching on pre‐service physics teachers’ conceptions of the moon, moon phases, and other lunar phenomena. International Journal of Science Education29(5), 555-593.

Popovich, M. J. (1999). Moon phases and ocean tides: The relationship between the inspiratory-expiratory phases of mechanical ventilation and right ventricular function. Critical care medicine27(5), 864-865.

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Nick is a multi-faceted individual with diverse interests. I love teaching young students through coaching or writing who always gathered praise for a sharp calculative mind. I own a positive outlook towards life and also give motivational speeches for young kids and college students.

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