Monday, June 14, 2010

Why are Moon Phases Important?

I've included a phases in the moon applet over on the right because the position of the moon, more particularly the alignment of the sun, moon &earth, has a big influence of the magnitude of our tides. We see these tides as a roughly twice daily rise & fall of the sea level. The so called spring tides, are not just limited to spring (or autumn), they occur roughly twice a month (as the graphic above shows) at either the new moon or the full moon. Other times of the month see lesser tidal range because the gravitational pulls are not aligned. You can get the predicted tide times from the Bureau of Meterology Website (Venus Bay tides are roughly the same time as for the Port Phillip Heads)

Venus Bay does get higher tides in spring and autumn that have a significant extra height due to strong ocean swells and waves. Sometimes these highs can be forced higher by a storm surge or strong on-shore winds.

So the new moon this weekend make it a candidate to see more erosion, possibly higher than last month.

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