Q:

What causes neap tides?

A:

All tides, including the cycle of spring and neap tides, are caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon on Earth's ocean tides. Each month, the angles and alignment of the sun, moon and Earth work to influence the cycle of tides.

Know More

Full Answer

Twice a month, during the full and new moons, the sun, moon, and Earth are in alignment with one another  and the solar tide works together with the lunar tide, creating very  pronounced high and low  tides. This type of tidal pattern is called spring tide.

During the alternating weeks, the sun and moon are at right angles to one another so the solar tide partially cancels the lunar tide, resulting in a very moderate high/low tide cycle. This pattern is called neap tide and occurs twice monthly.

Learn more in Tides
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do tides occur?

    A:

    Tides are caused by a combination of three factors: the moon's gravity, the sun's gravity and the earth's own gravity. The moon's gravity is the most significant of these forces; it exerts 2.2 times more force on the tides than the sun's gravity does.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes tides?

    A:

    Tides, which are rising and falling sea levels, are caused by the effects of gravitational forces of the moon and sun combined with the Earth's rotation. Tidal magnitudes are affected by shoreline shape, the shape of bodies of water and environmental factors.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What causes ocean tides?

    A:

    Tides, the periodic rise and fall in the levels of large bodies of water, are the product of gravitational forces. They result from the interaction of the Earth with both the sun and the moon, though the moon is the most significant influence year round.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How are tidal waves formed?

    A:

    Tidal waves are caused by the gravitational fields of the sun, the moon and the earth. A tidal wave is a small, regularly occurring wave caused by the shifting of the tide.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore