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A tidal current which flows alternately in approximately opposite directions with a slack water at each reversal of direction. Currents of this type usually occur in rivers and straits where the direction of flow is somewhat restricted to certain channels. When the movement is towards the shore or up a stream the current is said to be flooding, and when in the opposite direction it is said to be ebbing. The combined flood and ebb movement including the slack water covers, on an average, 12.4. hours for the semidiurnal current. If unaffected by a nontidal flow, the flood and ebb movements will each last about 6 hours, but when combined with such a flow, the durations of flood and ebb may be quite unequal. During the low in each direction the speed of the current will vary from zero at the time of slack water to a maximum about midway between the slacks. Also called RECTILINEAR CURRENT.

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