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A complete set of tidal current conditions, as those occurring during a tidal day, lunar month, or Metonic cycle.

Related Terms


  1. Charts on which tidal current data are depicted graphically. 2. Tidal Current Chart, as published by the National Ocean Survey, part of a set of charts which depict, by means of arrows and figures, the direction and velocity of the tidal current for each hour of the tidal cycle. The charts, which may be used for any year, present a comprehensive view of the tidal current movement in the respective waterways as a whole and also supply a means for readily determining for any time the direction and velocity of the current at various localities throughout the water area covered.


Tidal current in which the tidal day current cycle consists of one flood current and one eb


Tidal current in which tidal day current cycle consists of two flood currents and two ebb currents, separated by slack water; or two changes in direction, 360° of a rotary current. This is the most common type of tidal current throughout the world.


  1. A wave caused by the gravitational interactions between the sun, moon and earth. Essentially, high water is the crest of a tidal wave and low water is the trough. Tide is the vertical component of the particulate motion and tidal current is the horizontal component. The observed tide and tidal current can be considered the result of the combination of several tidal waves, each of which may vary from nearly pure progressive to nearly pure standing and with differing periods, heights, phase relationships, and directions. 2. Any unusually high and destructive water level along a shore. It usually refers to either a storm surge or tsunami.


The state of a tidal current when its speed is near zero, especially the moment when a reversing current changes direction and its speed is zero. The term is also applied to the entire period of low speed near the time of turning of the current when it is too weak to be of any practical importance in navigation. The relation of the time of slack water to the tidal phases varies in different localities. For standing tidal waves, slack water occurs near the times of high and low water, while for progressive tidal waves, slack water occurs midway between high and low water.


Small waves formed on the surface of water by the meeting of opposing tidal currents or by a tidal current crossing an irregular bottom. Vertical oscillation, rather than progressive waves, is characteristic of tide rips.


A flood tidal current having two maxima of speed separated by a lesser flood speed


Any real function that satisfies a certain equation. In its simplest form, as used in tide and tidal current predictions, it is a quantity that varies as the cosine of an angle that increases uniformly with time


Monthly diagrams which are used with tidal current charts to provide a convenient method to determine the current flow on a particular day.


A harmonic tidal or tidal current constituent with a speed that is an exact multiple of the speed of one of the fundamental constituents derived from the development of the tide-producing force. The presence of overtides is usually attributed to shallow water conditions.

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