Spring Tides

The Bristol Channel has a very high tidal range which I believe is second only to Newfoundland. Of course the tidal range varies during the course of each month but on several occasions each year, we will have the highest at over 12 meters and these are known as“Spring Tides” though they are not tied to that particular season.

A local friend of mine told me that the name “Spring” actually is down to the fact that they just “spring up” and he is quite right. Technically there are spring tides associated with each Lunar phase and in between neap tides which are lower however the really big spring tides occur when the Moon's orbit is closest to the Earth and these are the ones we notice most.

The other morning we had our first big one of the year and although the light wasn't great for photography, hopefully these pictures give a flavour. The first two pictures show a fishing boat on the near bank and the old abandoned boat on the far side as they would be on an average high to near high tide, the subsequent pictures show them on a Spring Tide. On either bank there are protective dikes and between them and the river there is a flood plain which obviously works very well because it contains the extra water that comes with a high Spring Tide.

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