What Is Slack Tide
One of the most reliable phenomena on Earth are the tides.
Understanding how the tides work can give us a better understanding of the rest of the world.
While the difference between low tide and high tide may be pretty intuitive, slack tide is much less commonly addressed.
Today, we will explore the ins and out of the slack tide and what makes it so important.
What Is Slack Tide?
To put it simply, the slack tide is when water is relatively still during the turn of low tide. It is the stretch of time where there is no tidal current or movement of water in the tidal stream.
As we all know, the tide rises and falls in an ebb and flow controlled by the moon's gravitational pull.
Ebb tide is where the sea level falls. Low water lasts for several hours before it turns back to slack water when the tidal stream reverses. After a period of slack water, the tide will turn to high tide. This period between slack water and high water is known as flood tide.
High and low tides are times of moving tidal current, which makes them different. If you've ever found yourself wondering "when are the highest tides?" we've got an explanation for that as well.
People can estimate the appearance of slack water using a tidal atlas or tide table. Standard ports will often use tide tables to tabulate the time between high or low water.
What Is The Difference Between Slack Tide And Slack Water?
Slack tide and slack water are interchangeable terms in many ways. Essentially, these terms are both used to refer to the turning of tidal water. During this time, the water is at a standstill, is completely unstressed and is neither moving in nor out.
You will also hear many people refer to slack tides as "the stand of the tide."
If you're a diver in an area with potentially dangerous tides or tidal currents, slack water offers the best conditions for diving. In many ways, diving during this period is standard practice. Less water flow means less effort in the water and less likelihood of slowly drifting away from shore or your sea vessel.
Fishermen often have to pay close attention to the turn of the tide. For example, there are some fish that can bite with ferociousness during an incoming tide, though when the tide levels stand and slack tides appear, the fish almost seem to vanish.
The least amount of difference between high and low water is referred to as neap tide. If you'd like to learn more, head over to our when does neap tide occur article.