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Ocean Movements

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Ocean Movements - Lesson Summary

Oceans are large bodies of salty water covering almost 3/4 th of the earth’s surface. The movements which occur in oceans are classified as waves, tides and currents. A wave is the constant rising and falling of water caused by winds blowing across the oceans. Tsunami is a series of huge, destructive waves, caused by underwater earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and underwater landslides.

The water of the oceans rises and falls rhythmically twice a day. This movement of oceans is called a tide. When ocean water rises to its highest level and covers much of the shore, it is a high tide while when the water falls to its lowest level and recedes from the shore, it is a low tide. Tides are caused due to the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun on the ocean water.

On full moon and new moon days when the sun, the moon and the earth are in the same line, exceptionally strong gravitational forces exerted by the sun and the moon cause high tides, called as spring tides.

A neap tide occurs when the moon is in its first or third quarter and is at right angles to the sun. The ocean waters get pulled in diagonally opposite directions by the gravitational pull of the sun and the moon, resulting in low tides called Neap tides.

High and low tides help us in navigation, fishing and generating electricity.

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