What Is A Neap Tide Tide is the vertical rise and fall of the sea level surface caused primarily by the change in gravitational attraction of the moon, and to a lesser extent the sun. So the force of attraction of the Sun reduces the effect of the Moon’s gravity. Happens at a new moon. Stagnant, non-moving water spells disaster for an inshore fishing trip, because predator species like redfish, flounder and speckled trout depend on that moving water to ambush bait. When the sun and moon are on the same side of the Earth (new moon) or the opposite side (full moon), their bulges add together to make larger tides than usual: this is called a "spring tide". A “spring tide” is the opposite of a “neap tide,” i.e., the point just after either a full or new moon when the high tide reaches its highest point above the level of low tide. A neap tide — seven days after a spring tide — refers to a period of moderate tides when the sun and moon are at right angles to each other. This called the M2 tide. At this time, expect largest tidal range of the year because, at the equinoxes, the Moon and Sun are aligned with the equator. By the way, I’d be a bit leery of the navigational advice of an author who claims “neap” comes from a “Viking” (presumably Old Norse) word meaning “abundance.” Not only is there no evidence for that, but it doesn’t even make sense. A Changing Libraries Initiative - This site and all content is made available under respective copyrights. They occur twice monthly and are called neap and spring tides. Well, that’s strange. Neap tides at Quarter Moon. These are called spring tides, because the oceans seem to "spring up" for high tide. 2 Answers. When the earth, moon, and sun line up—which happens at times of full moon or new moon—the lunar and solar tides reinforce each other, leading to more extreme tides, called spring tides. You should take part in a contest for one of the best blogs on the web. See the copyright statement for details. You could make a case that when the level of high tide converges with that of low tide, the difference between the two narrows like the beak of a bird, or perhaps something that is “nipped,” squeezed together sharply. Earth experiences spring tides only during new and full moons. Neap Tides This is called a spring tide, not a neap tide. The noun and adjective forms of “spring” come from the verb “to spring,” which first appeared in Old English as “springan,” meaning “to burst out, rise up suddenly, leap, etc.” The season we know as “spring” gets its name from the notion of life (plants in particular) bursting forth after being dormant during the winter. Tides are long-period waves that roll around the planet as the ocean is “pulled” back and forth by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun as these bodies interact with the Earth in their monthly and yearly orbits. I am trying to understand how the Sun affects tides on the Earth's oceans and seas. 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