Gizmo of the Week: Ocean Tides

If you’ve ever gone to the beach, you might have noticed the water level rising and falling over time. In the Ocean Tides Gizmo, students will learn how the positions of the Sun and Moon create tidal bands that rise at opposite ends of the Earth, and how Earth’s rotation through these bulges creates high and low tides. The tides are shown in both a global view and in a local scene of a fishing dock on the shore.

A recent, growing concern is the increase of flood events along coastal areas during normal high tides, a phenomenon called “tidal flooding.” Tidal flooding is becoming more common because sea levels have risen due to warming oceans and melting ice caps. Tidal flooding is affecting low-lying developed areas and converting some forests into salt-water marshes.