Q:

What is the difference between spring tides and neap tides?

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Quick Answer

The difference between spring and neap tides is that spring tides are much higher than normal and neap tides are lower than normal. Spring tides occur because of the combined effects of the sun and moon, whereas neap tides happen when the sun and the moon are at right angles.

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What is the difference between spring tides and neap tides?
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Full Answer

Spring tides are exceptionally high tides because the sun, moon and Earth are aligned, and this causes the gravitational pulls of the sun and moon on the Earth to be greatly multiplied. Earth experiences spring tides only during new and full moons. Because the sun and moon are at right angles together during a neap tide, the gravitational pulls partially cancel each other. The result is a very weak tide. Neap tides occur only during quarter moons.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What are lunar tides?

    A:

    According to Science and the Sea, lunar tides are the most common tides and are caused by the Moon's gravity. Although the Sun's gravity is stronger, it is farther from the Earth than the Moon, which is why lunar tides are more than two times stronger than solar tides.

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  • Q:

    How long do tides last?

    A:

    The basic lunar cycle of a body of water consists of two high tides and two low tides, which occur every 24 hours and 50 minutes. The basic cycle of solar tides is 24 hours.

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  • Q:

    How do tides occur?

    A:

    Tides occur when the gravity of the moon partially cancels out Earth's gravity, allowing a bulge to form in the water on Earth's surface. One high tide occurs directly underneath the moon, while another occurs on the opposite side of Earth due to the centrifugal force of the planet's orbit.

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  • Q:

    How are tides formed?

    A:

    Tides are formed by a combination of gravitational attraction from the moon and the sun, as well as the centrifugal force generated by the rotation of the Earth. The position of both celestial bodies affects the surface height of the tides as water is gravitationally pulled upwards relative to their positions.

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