King Tides in Washington State
Did you know that some of the highest tides of the year occur in the winter? These tides, referred to as “King Tides”, occur naturally when the sun and the moon align, causing an increased gravitational pull on the Earth’s oceans. This winter king tides occur in December and January.
The Washington Department of Ecology is inviting residents and visitors to grab their cameras and head to the beaches to take photos of Washington’s king tides. Documenting how very high tides affect the natural environment and our coastal infrastructure will help us visualize what sea level rise might look like in the future.
The Washington King Tide Photo Initiative
The Washington King Tide Photo Initiative is in its fourth year. Its purpose is to:
The King Tides Photo Initiative began in Australia in January 2009. In 2010, Washington and British Columbia began collecting king tide photos and in 2011 they were joined by Oregon and California. The Washington King Tide Photo Initiative is now part of a coordinated effort between British Columbia, Washington, California and Oregon. Organizations and governments in and outside the country are holding photo initiatives of their own.
Washington’s King Tides Photo Initiative gathered photos since 2010. You can see our photos at the Washington King Tides Photo Initiative’s Flickr Group,or view photos taken all along the West Coast on our partner’s Flickr groups: British Columbia, Oregon and several regions in California: San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Monica and San Diego.
Participate - 2014—2015!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What are tides and how can I learn more about them?
A. Tides are very long-period waves that move through the ocean in response to the forces exerted by the moon and the sun.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a number of excellent educational resources on their Oceans and Coasts Education website.
Q. What causes sea level rise?
As global temperatures rise, the oceans warm slightly and expand, ice caps and glaciers melt, and more precipitation falls as rain instead of snow. This causes sea levels to rise.
Q. What will be the effect of sea level rise?
A. Rising sea levels are expected to:
Archive: 2010-2012 High Tides
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