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Effect of the Sun and Moon on Tides - 14220_184
Introduction to Tides Background Information Whenever  your  ship  enters  or  leaves  port,  one  of  your  most  important tasks  will  be  to  calculate  how  much  water  will  be  available  along  your route  of  transit.  The  importance  of  accurate  tide  calculations  cannot  be overemphasized.  If  your  ship  attempts  to  pass  beneath  a  bridge  without adequate  vertical  clearance,  you  could  lose  the  ship’s  mast.  If  you  pass over  a  shoal  with  an  insufficient  depth  of  water,  your  ship  will  probably go  aground,  losing  sonar  dome,  rudder,  and  propellers.  All  navigational charts  reference  the  depth  soundings  in  mean  low  water. Definition Tide  is  the  vertical  rise  and  fall  of  the  ocean  level  caused  by  the gravitational  forces  between  Earth  and  the  Moon,  and  Earth  and  the  Sun. Generally  speaking,  these  interacting  forces  between  the  planets  cause the  tides  to  rise  and  fall  twice  daily,  this  is  known  as  a  tidal  day.  The period  of  one  high  and  one  low  is  referred  to  as  a  tidal  cycle. Terms Associ- Use  the  following  table  to  learn  the  meanings  of  terms  that  are ated with Tides associated  with  tides. Term Definition High  tide  or  high   The  maximum  height  of  the  water  resulting  from  the water  (HW) rising tide. Low  tide  or  low The  minimum  height  of  the  water  resulting  from  the water  (LW) outgoing tide. Duration  of  rise The  period  of  time  measured  in  hours  and  minutes  that and fall it  takes  the  tide  to  go  from  low  water  to  high  water. Range  of  tide The  distance  between  HW  and  LW. Stand A  brief  period  where  no  rise  or  fall  occurs;  this  occurs when  the  tide  reaches  its  maximum  or  minimum  level. Mean  high  water   The  average  height  of  all  high-tide  water  levels, (MHW) measured  over  a  19-year  period. Mean  low  water (MLW) Mean  lower  low water  (MLW) The  average  height  of  all  low-tide  levels,  observed over  a  19-year  period. The  average  of  the  lower  of  the  low  water  levels, observed  over  a  period  of  19-years.  This  is  the reference  plane  currently  used  on  almost  all  charts covering  U.S.  waters  as  the  basis  of  measurement  of charted  depths  and  height  of  tide. 7-3

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