Neap tides and spring tides are two types of tides that occur in the ocean. While they may sound like they have something to do with the seasons, they are actually caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun on the Earth’s oceans.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what neap tides and spring tides are, how they differ from each other, and why they matter to sailors, fishermen, and anyone who lives near the coast.
So, if you’ve ever wondered why the tide goes in and out, and why it sometimes seems to be higher or lower than usual, read on to find out more.
Difference between Neap Tides and Spring Tides
Tides are the periodic rise and fall of sea levels caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun on the Earth’s oceans.
The gravitational force of the moon is stronger than that of the sun, and hence the moon has a greater effect on tides.
The gravitational pull of the moon causes two bulges of water to form on opposite sides of the Earth. These bulges are responsible for the high tides.
When the sun, moon, and Earth are aligned, their gravitational forces reinforce each other, and the result is a spring tide. Spring tides occur twice a month, during the full moon and new moon.
During spring tides, the tidal range is at its greatest, and the high tide is higher than usual, while the low tide is lower than usual.
On the other hand, neap tides occur when the gravitational forces of the sun and moon are perpendicular to each other, and the bulges created by their gravitational pull cancel each other out.
This results in a smaller tidal range, and the high tide is lower than usual, while the low tide is higher than usual.
Neap tides occur twice a month, during the first and third quarter moon.
The difference between neap tides and spring tides is the tidal range. Neap tides have a smaller tidal range, while spring tides have a larger tidal range.
The tidal range is the difference in height between the high tide and the low tide.
The tidal range is affected by many factors, including the gravitational force of the moon and the sun, the shape of the ocean basins, and the presence of landmasses and continents.