What is Tide, why it occurs and how it is important for human life?

Source: www.almanac.com

Most of the people dreamed to have a unique tidal experience and hence, they are familiar with the terms low tide and high tide. Here, we are giving interesting fact about Tides, why it occurs and how it is important for human life for general awareness.

What is Tide?

The regular rise and fall of the ocean’s waters are known as tides. It is high tide when water covers much of the shore by rising to its highest level. It is low tide when water falls to its lowest level and recedes from the shore.

Characteristics of Tides

Tide changes proceed via the following stages:

1. Sea level rises over several hours, covering the intertidal zone; flood tide.

2. The water rises to its highest level, reaching high tide.

3. Sea level falls over several hours, revealing the intertidal zone; ebb tide.

4. The water stops falling, reaching low tide.

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Why does Tide occur?

Source: media1.britannica.com


It is caused by the combined effects of the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun and the rotation of Earth.

Types of tides

There are two types of tides which are discussed below:

Spring Tides

The term 'Spring' term is derived from the concept of the tide "springing forth". It occur during the full moon and new moon days when the sun, the moon and the earth are in the same line twice each lunar month all year long, without regard to the season.

Neap Tides

It is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "without the power", as in forðganges nip (forth-going without-the-power). It occur when the moon is in its first and last quarter, the ocean waters get drawn in diagonally opposite directions by the gravitational pull of sun and earth resulting in low tides.

Why don’t Tides occur in rivers, lakes, ponds and other water bodies?

The tides require a bigger area with bigger pulling effects. Hence, lakes and rivers do experience gravitational pull, but since their area or mass of water is not much in comparison to large oceans and seas, so not much significant pull is experienced in lakes and rivers.

Our Changing Earth

How Tide is important for human life?

Every natural occurring incident has some relevance and has impact on the living creatures. Some of the importance of tides is discussed below:

1. Fishing: Tides affect other aspects of oceanic life, including the reproductive activities of fish and ocean plants. 

2. Tidal Zone Foods: Edible sea creatures like Crabs, mussels, snails, seaweed etc. inhabit the tidal zone and the most important point to be remembering that without the regular washing of the tides, these complex and abundant creatures would die and food resources would diminish.

3. Navigation: High tides help in navigation. They raise the water level close to the shores which helps the ships to arrive at the harbour more easily.

4. Weather: Tides stirred the ocean water that makes habitable climatic condition and balance the temperatures on the planets.

5. Tidal Energy: In every 24 hour, two high tides and two low tides occur. Hence, the fast movement of water during the inflow and outflow will provide a source of renewable energy to communities living along the coast.

Indian Geography: A Complete Study Material


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