Data Analysis – Tidal Variations
Tides account for short-term changes in coastal water levels. Most people are under the assumption that all coasts experience two high tides and two low tides of the same elevation per 24-hour period, and that high and low tides occur at the same time all along the same coast. This exercise allows you to compare tide data along the Atlantic and Gulf Coast regions, and to explore the causes of tidal variations.
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Go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Tides and Currents home page. Click on Florida and and zoom in to view Miami, Florida. Click on the Virginia Key station next to Miami.
Zoom out and examine high tide data along the northeast coast for the following stations , Atlantic City New Jersey, Lewes Deleware, and Ocean City Maryland.
Move down to the coast of North Carolina. Click on the U.S. Coast Guard Station at Cape Hatteras . The following graphs were taken from data collected at this station on March 25, 2020. Note that the actual water level is higher than that predicted by the tide models.
Move down to the Florida panhandle and click on the Pensacola, Florida Station. Click on the station, and then on ‘Plot Data’.
Our last station is the Coast Guard Sector Mobile station , located along the Mobile Bay. Click on the ‘Plot Data’ button. Note that for this station the predicted differences in water elevation at high and low tide are as small as 0.1 feet.
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