American Journal of Physics -- October 2002 -- Volume 70, Issue 10, pp. 1001-1011

A dynamical picture of the oceanic tides

Eugene I. Butikov
St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia

(Received 5 November 2001; accepted 11 June 2002)

A detailed treatment of tide-generating forces is given, followed by a simplified dynamic theory of tidal waves. To clarify the underlying physics, we use a simple model of the ocean that consists of a water shell of uniform depth completely covering the globe. The treatment is appropriate for college and university undergraduate students studying introductory geophysics or astronomy, general physics, or intermediate mechanics. A computer simulation is developed to aid in understanding the properties of sun- or moon-induced tide-generating forces and of the stationary tidal waves created by these forces in the open ocean.

2002 American Association of Physics Teachers.

doi: 10.1119/1.1498858
PACS: 01.50.-i, 92.10.Hm

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