What Are Tides? A Guide To High And Low Tide

Imagine that you live near the coast and visit the beach, walking along the seashell, seaweed, and driftwood left by the tides, suddenly you see a tide rising from the ocean, moving towards the coast, and touching your feet. This will make you think about how these tides are produced all of a sudden. Here is the explanation for it.

What Are Tides?

In the ocean, tides are formed when the water rises up and then falls back. There may be certain reasons behind this mechanism, it may be due to the gravitational forces exerted either by Sun or Moon. However, the gravitational force produced by the moon is stronger than that of the sun because it is much closer to that of the Earth.


A Guide To High And Low Tide

As discussed above, the tidal force produces by the moon affects the water in the ocean more dramatically than that of the sun. depending upon the gravity, the tides are of two types:

High Tides

The moon exerts a stronger tidal force on the Earth’s side, facing the moon whereas it is weakest on the opposite side. This difference in the tidal force causes the ocean to bulge out at two different points. This bulging of the ocean is called high tides. The bulging occurs on the side of the Earth facing the moon, pulling the ocean towards it whereas the other side pushes the ocean away. The high tides are further divided into two types:

High Tides

1:  High High Tide

High tides are produced on the side of the Earth which is towards the moon.

2:  Low High Tide

These are the tides that are produced by the tidal forces on the Earth’s opposite face.

Low Tides

The tides on the face of the Earth towards the moon are high than the opposite side. Between the two high tides, there is a point where the water level is low. The tides produced in these areas are called low tides. Low tides are usually produced when the water moves from estuaries or rivers into the ocean.

Low Tides

Some Other Types Of Tides

The peak of the tides depends upon environmental factors like atmospheric pressure and winds. Based on the timing or day, the tides are of the following types:

  • Bore Tides:  These are produced when the incoming tide forms a wave that travels upstream – in the opposite direction of the river water current.

  • Neap Tide:  These tides are usually weak and are produced when the moon and sun form a right angle to each other.

  • Spring Tide:  These are strong tides that are produced when the Sun, Earth, and Moon, lie in a straight line. These tides are produced twice a month.
  • Rip Tide:  These tides are also named rip currents; they are produced usually at the beaches by the breaking waves.

  • Brown Tide:  These tides result from algal bloom, which turns the water brown because of the high concentration of brown algae. Though they are not very harmful to humans or marine life.

  • Red Tide:  These tides are produced when the colonies of algal blooms grow at an uncontrollable rate, creating a harmful impact on fish, birds, marine animals, and humans.

  • Semidiurnal Tide:  The tides which are produced twice a day are called Semidiurnal tides. It includes two high tides and two low tides in a day.

  • Diurnal Tide:  These tides are the combination of one low tide and one high tide which are produced once a day.

  • Mixed Tide:  Mixed tide is a combination of one low tide and two high tides.

Final Words

Tides are produced when the moon or sun exerts a strong gravitational force on the Earth. Usually, the moon exerts stronger gravitational force – the tidal force of the moon causes the ocean to bulge out at two different places, producing a high tide whereas the area between the two high tides gives rise to low tides. Other than high and low tides, there are some other types of tides explained above, depending upon the timing, day, and environmental factors.

About the author


I am a Scholar and a dedicated content writer. I am on a mission to stamp out the importance of one of the ocean's most fascinating and remarkable creatures, the sharks, and to let people know about their role in keeping the ecosystem in equilibrium.