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Tides, etc.

A2 Geography - Coasts
Tidal Surges
Surges – surges are changes to the
normal predicted astronomical tidal
patterns that occur during abnormal
meteorological conditions.

Two factors that contribute to the

formation of tidal surges:
– Strong winds (can change the height by up
to 2-3m)
– Changes in atmospheric pressure patterns
(e.g. Intense depressions can alter the
height of coastal waters by around 1 cm
per millibar.
Tidal Surges (con’t)
• Positive Surges
– Lead to abnormally high tide and may
cause flooding
• Negative Surges
– Lead to low tidal conditions and may be
a hazard to navigation.
Tidal Bores
Tidal bores are large waves that surge
up rivers and estuaries with the
oncoming tide; effectively forcing a
reversal of the river’s flow.
• Only can occur when the estury is
hypersynchronous – (wedge
shaped) the sides must converge
quick enough upstream to outweigh
any effects of friction that might be
created by the estuaries bed.
Tidal Bores (Con’t)
• There are 60 rivers in the world that
experience regular tidal bores that
coincide with the spring tides.
• Qiantang River in China regularly
reaches 8m in height.
• In Britain biggest tidal bore is the
river severn – regularly reaches 2-3m
in height