Relationship between the Moon and the Tides





Relationship between the Moon and the Tides


The momentary rise and fall of levels of the sea due to the combined gravitational forces effect from the moon is referred to as the tides. Additional forces that affect the gravitational means towards the tides are comprised from the sun and the earth’s rotation. Timescales of the tides are not determined as they can extend from hours up to years. In some instances, some of the world’s shorelines experience a double range of tide on each day, commonly referred to as semi-diurnal. Other shorelines obtain a single tide of either low or high magnitude while they are symbolized by diurnal. It is common for other shorelines in differential geographical representation to experience mixed tides. In this regards it can be uneven forms of either two low or two high tides in a single day with heightened duration of the gaps. The determinants of amplitude and time of respective tides are alignment of the sun, shape of the identified coastline, deep ocean tide patterns, amphidromic systems of the ocean and the moon.


Lunar Tides

The attraction of the moon and earth brings about the creation of tides. The moon is responsible for creating a pulling effect to its surface on any object, terrestrial representation, and force, from the earth to its own (Na 2). On the other hand, the earth tries to counter this effect by holding onto any object, force, or terrestrial representative except the mass of water. The water mass and its over seventy-five percent occupation on the earth’s surface, is always on in a movement around the earth. Since the earth cannot hold onto the water mass, the moon tries and manages to pull it from time to time. On a typical day, the created tides occur twice, with the low and high differential circumstance (McMillan and Lickley 4). On the other hand, the ocean alternates its movement between the two tides with a typical separation time scale of about twelve hours.

Since the moon is responsible for creating the tides, its gravitational force is measures to be about earth’s one tenth-million. Wunsch and Haidvogel (83) note that additional centrifugal force by the earth enables the spin and creation of the tides as experienced on its surface. In comparison, the gravitational force from the sun is equal to about forty-six percent to the moon’s. Thus, the moon becomes the sole responsible factor in formation of the tides. Maximum tides from the moon are a product of strategic alignment of sun, moon, and the earth. The moon’s orbit across the earth is approximately over twenty-five hours while the earth maintains its axis (National Ocean Service Education 17). With the moon’s movement around that of the earth’s rotation, the location of the tides does not repeat itself. The differential change of fifty minutes between the high and low tides also changes in terms of the location.

Spring Tides

The moon alters in shape during its rotation around the earth. It can be spotted as crescent, full, quarter, gibbous or new. During its representation as either new or full, depending on the location and time, the combined gravitational pull with the sun causes specific tides (Nature Bridge 3). At this particular timescale, extreme margins of the tides occur, in that the low tides are quite lower while the high tides are significantly higher. The outcome is referred to as spring tides. Additionally, the sun is usually in line when the gravitational pull is higher and when low. In comparison to the lunar tide, it is typically half or fifty percent in average from similar height thereby causing the maximum effect. However, Franz (14) argues that it is not associated in anyway with the constant seasonal changes experienced on the earth’s surface.

Perigean Spring Tides

The earth’s shape has closest points towards the moon’s orbit when it is constant rotation. The points closest are referred to as perigee. When the moon is observed to be new or full, it creates the perigean tides in an extra large modification (Lim and Lee 7). The alignment of the perigee points to the moon’s orbit and coinciding extra large point causes the maximum gravitational force to pull on the water mass away from the earth. At the points, range of the amplitudes is increased according to the differential distance obtained from one pull to another. In most instances, extreme flooding can be created due to the super moon effect realized when the tides coincide. Maddison (16) points that lunar perigee circumstances also enable the interaction between the moon and earth to vary the tidal force in the spring tides. They are the least-occurring tides in the category.

Neap Tides

Neap Tides occur at the halfway point when either a new or a full moon appear at right angles from the earth’s surface. They are denoted by the moon phases of between the last quarters, to the first in similar occurrence. At this point, the gravity of the moon and that of the sun are repelling each other while that of the moon is on constant action towards the seas. The range of the tide from the first amplitude to the next is thus minimized (Macdonald 3). Water bulges towards the moon at the mean sea level while it bulges away when the rotation of the earth attains right angles. Neap tides occur on average twice a month within the moon’s quarter from the first quarter. An interval between the neap tide and spring one usually takes about a weeklong duration with other factors kept constant.


The second high tide created by the gravitational force from the moon’s pull and that of the earth, is influenced by the barycenter. It is the location on the side of the earth, and opposite of the moon. William, Turshyev, and Boggs (9) indicate that when the earth rotates on its axis, the moon is in constant motion on the barycenter. Its axis is the equivalent of moon side distance from the earths centre to the surface. The opposite side is thus made to spin faster as compared to the earth’s equivalent. A centrifugal force from the resultant spin creates a spiral motion in which, water from the earth’s surface is expelled away. It creates a day’s high low water and lower high water on differential ranges. On numerous occasions, such an occurrence is rare to witness while the evidential instances are on trace levels.


The determinants of amplitude and time of respective tides are alignment of the sun, shape of the identified coastline, deep ocean tide patterns, amphidromic systems of the ocean and the moon.

Thus, the moon is responsible for the momentary rise and fall of levels of the sea. . Additional forces that affect the gravitational means towards the tides are comprised from the sun and the earth’s rotation. The differential categories of the tides are distinguished by occurrences of the new and full moon. Amplitudes include the intervals according to the ranges.


Works Cited

Franz, Michel. “Tides and Tidal Currents.” NIMA, 1 (2013): 1-22. Print.

Lim, Yun-Seng, and Siong, Lee. “Marine Tidal Current Electrical Power Generation: State of Art and Current Status.” University of Tunku, 1.1 (2007): 1-17. Print.

Maddison, Ruth. “Watching the Moon: Time and Tide.” SAO Articles, 1.1 (2010): 1-31. Print.

McDonald, Richard. “Tidal Forces and their Effect in the Solar System.” NSTC Journals, 1.2 (2005): 1-7. Print.

McMillan, Justine, and Megan Lickley. “The Potential of Tidal Power from the Bay of Fundy.” SIAM, 1.1 (2010): 1-18. Print.

Na, Sung-Ho. “Tidal Evolution of Lunar Orbit and Earth Rotation.” Journal of the Korean Astronomical Society, 45:49 (2012): 1-9. Print.

National Ocean Service Education. “Tides and Water Levels.” NOAA, 1 (2015): 1-36. Print.

Nature Bridge. “Gravity and Tides.” NB Journal, 1 (2015): 1-4. Print.

Williams, James, Slava Turshyev, and Dale Boggs. “The Past and Present Earth-Moon System: The Speed of Light Stays Steady as Tides Evolve.” Springer Open Journal, 3.2 (2014): 1-9. Print.

Wunsch, Carl and Dale, Haidvogel. “Dynamics of the Long Period Tides.” Pergamon, 40. 1 (2007): 81-108. Print.

Calculate your order
275 words
Total price: $0.00

Top-quality papers guaranteed


100% original papers

We sell only unique pieces of writing completed according to your demands.


Confidential service

We use security encryption to keep your personal data protected.


Money-back guarantee

We can give your money back if something goes wrong with your order.

Enjoy the free features we offer to everyone

  1. Title page

    Get a free title page formatted according to the specifics of your particular style.

  2. Custom formatting

    Request us to use APA, MLA, Harvard, Chicago, or any other style for your essay.

  3. Bibliography page

    Don’t pay extra for a list of references that perfectly fits your academic needs.

  4. 24/7 support assistance

    Ask us a question anytime you need to—we don’t charge extra for supporting you!

Calculate how much your essay costs

Type of paper
Academic level
550 words

How to place an order

  • Choose the number of pages, your academic level, and deadline
  • Push the orange button
  • Give instructions for your paper
  • Pay with PayPal or a credit card
  • Track the progress of your order
  • Approve and enjoy your custom paper

Ask experts to write you a cheap essay of excellent quality

Place an order