Tide-generating Forces

Tidal Forces

(NOAA/NOS Education: Tides and Water Levels)
  • Tides are the hydrodynamic response of the oceans to tide- generating forces

A simple picture:

  • On a water-covered, non-rapidly rotating world, two bulges would exist.

  • The sun and moon exert a gravitational attractive force, creating a bulge on the near side of the earth.

  • The combined orbits of the Earth-Moon and Earth-Sun around their center of gravity produce centrifugal force, creating a bulge on the far side of the earth.

  • Maximum tidal forces occur once every 1600 years!

Tidal Components
Equilibrium Theory
Dynamic Theory
Amphidromic Systems
Tide Waves
Closed Basins & Channels
Arctic & Antarctic Tides


Author: E. Boyce
Created: 7 December, 2003
Web project for PHYS645, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics, University of Alaska Fairbanks