Difference Between Tides and Waves

Around seventy percent of the earth is based on water from the oceans. This is a massive area and there is plenty of life in water and plenty of phenomena that is associated with it. People like to go to the sea mostly just to enjoy some breeze or sun. Others prefer to hang out and do some surfing which can also be a lot of fun.

Surfing is certainly not possible without decent waves in the water. You often hear the term waves and tides and sometimes can confuse them to be one and the same. Although they are similar in nature, there are some very clear differences between the two of them.

A wave is caused by movement of the wind over the surface of the ocean. It needs to have certain conditions fulfilled so that it can make a wave. Tides on the other hand are caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun and also the position of the Earth.

The waves can be formed at any time and can be from small to very large depending on how conducive the conditions are for them. On the other hand, the tides take place on their given times and the factors causing these waves do not change.


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    Tides can take place a few times of the day or can be less frequent depending on the geography of the area. These generally take place in a fixed pattern and an area may have the same number of high and low tides during the day. The length of the tides can greatly vary and it can go on for hours. You can get a tidal report which comes from the weather stations that monitor the activity of the oceans. If you are going out on your boat or to go surfing it might be a good idea to check the tidal report before leaving.

    It is possible that smaller water bodies such as lakes may also have tides at a smaller scale in the right conditions.

    - Image Courtesy: photogalaxy.com

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    Waves are caused by winds that blow over an ocean. There are several factors that decide the size of the wave including the wind speed, the period for which the wind blows, the distance to which the wind slides, the depth of water and so on.

    There is no fixed time or size of the waves and they keep on taking place all day long. They can move inland as well if the waves get too big.

    - Image Courtesy: thefabweb.com

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