Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536



Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

Describe the major factors that produce the tides. What are some variations in tidal patterns?

To determine

The major factors that produce tides and the variations in tidal patterns.


The two long-wavelength waves that create the tides constantly occur on the Earth. Each crest carries high tide and each trough carries the low tide. These crest and trough are the cause of gradual rising and subsequent falling of the surface of the ocean. In coasts, these variations in water level caused by the tides influence the coastal processes in a range of elevation.

In comparison with the sun, the moon is much smaller but the gravitational influence is high because the moon is very closer to the Earth. Moon and Earth are a combined system that moves around the system’s center of gravity. The mass of Earth is much higher than the moon. In this combined system, a point on the Earth’s side is always facing the moon and this position is closest to the moon, the ocean at the Earth’s surface is being pulled toward the moon because of the gravitational pull making the high tide (crest).

At the same time, the ocean water on the opposite side of the Earth is experiencing another high tide because of the force of inertia by the centrifugal force...

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