What Causes the Tides?

  • By Rick Groleau
  • Posted 11.19.02
  • NOVA

In this animated interactive, see how the motion of the Earth creates inertial forces that combine with the gravity of the moon and sun to produce ocean tides on our planet.

Launch Interactive

Explore how the relative motion of the Earth, moon, and sun combine to produce ocean tides.

Further Reading

"Our Restless Tides." NOAA/NOS website, http://co-ops.nos.noaa.gov/restles1.html

"Tides and the Earth-Moon System," by Peter Goldreich. Scientific American, April 1972.

Bores, Breakers, Waves, and Wakes, by R.A.R. Tricker (New York: American Elsevier, 1965).


© WGBH Educational Foundation

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