When Does Neap Tide Occur
Anyone who has ever tried to navigate the ocean or enjoy ocean activities must concern themselves with the ocean tides. This is because the tides have such a significant impact on everything from fishing to surfing to scuba diving and beyond.
While high and low tides are common terms for most people, neap tides are not.
So come with us as we explore what makes neap tides occur and why they're so important.
What Is Neap Tide?
Neap tides are a period of moderate tides. It is a point where the gravitational pull of the moon and the particular angle between the sun and moon create low tides that are higher than average and high tides that are lower than average.
Essentially, the gravitational pull of the moon is a bit less strong during this point.
When Does Neap Tide Occur?
A neap tide occurs seven days after spring tide. When the sun and moon are at a particular angle with one another, these tides come into fruition.
Neap tides occur twice each month, similar to the spring tide, and have the smallest tidal range.
Difference Between Spring And Neap Tide
Spring tides, often called "king tides," occur before neap tides when a new moon comes about.
Note that they are not called "spring tides" because of the spring seasons, as it has nothing to do with that time of year.
Every lunar month, two spring tides occur.
When spring tides occur, you get incredibly high tides.
Essentially, the high tides during this new moon are higher than average because of the added gravitational pull of the full moon.
If you'd like to explore high tides further, see our when are the highest tides article.
Why Are These Terms Important?
Neap tides and spring tides create low tide and high tide, respectively, which then effects what time of day is best for people to go boating, fishing, scuba diving and surfing.
In the transition periods from high to low, and from low to high, slack tides takes place which are not ideal for catching fish. If you'd like to learn more, a simple explanation can be found by visiting our what is slack tide article.
The way that the waves impact the shoreline depends on the tidal range. The tidal range is the difference between high and low tide.
Understanding the tidal range in a specific region can help us understand when we will get large or small waves at certain times throughout the year, as well as how those waves will be concentrated.
For a more convenient way to check the tide than reading a tide table, we've compiled a list of the best tide watches. Tide clocks also do the trick.
FUN FACT: The world's largest tidal range can be found in the Canadian Bay of Fundy. The Bay of Fundy's Tidal Range is 16 meters, moving between low tide and high tide in as little as six hours. Conversely, the world's smallest tidal range is less than one meter.