Long Island Sound Ocean Tides Simulation

Long Island Sound Ocean Tides Simulation

What causes ocean tides? It's the moon, of course. Yes but, when the moon is overhead we do no not experience high tide, so there's a lot more to understanding tides than a straightforward relationship with the moon. I propose a simulation of the tides in Long Island Sound and their relationship to the moon. I have compiled a list of high and low tides and phases of the moon to use as a simple paper exercise so students can see that tides and the moon do not have a straight-forward relationship. They can plot the information using Excel, but it's not visual. I'd like to begin this learning object with just a simulation of the relationship of the moon to the tides around Long Island Sound. Once this is accomplished, it might be possible to further develop this, adding topography, or using the similar information to show tides in other ocean basins and other parts of the world. An excellent place to do this would be the Bay of Fundy. Almost all oceanographic texts show high and low tide for this bay, but they never show where the moon is or the water rushing in and out.

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Future Possibilities

  • We could build an interface that would allow the comparison of tides on two different days, side by side.
  • Since we were dealing with over 300,000 datapoints (6 updates per hour for 31 days for 77 locations) - we had to start with a data driven application. Now that we have the animation - it could be recorded and turned into smaller quicktime movies that would improve playback speed.

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Suzanne O'Connell: Author
Ann Loyer: Graphical Designer
Will Gladstone: Programmer

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At a Glance

Suzanne O'Connell

Science and Technology\Geology


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Technical Requirements