Graphing Tides Data Custom Essay

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In this activity, you will compare and contrast semidiurnal, diurnal, and mixed tides.

How are tides affected by their location? Which types of tides are found in the United States? What causes that pattern?

There are two versions of this project, based upon your access to the program Microsoft Excel. Please read the instructions carefully. It is possible to do this project without using Excel if you do all of the calculations and graphing by hand.

NOAA data sets from widely-separated tide stations are included. The data were obtained from the National Oceanic Survey of NOAA web site: http://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov

On this site, double-click on a file to open it. After it opens, choose “Save Page As” (which is under File menu), then save the file to a folder on your hard drive or flash drive. Repeat this process for each of the text files.

The data sets cover hourly water level values over a one-month period from January 1 through January 31, 2009. As the data header shows, the times are Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), not local time, and the water levels are in feet.

Compare tidal information from the following sites:

�Anchorage, Alaska.
�New London, Connecticut.
�Key West, Florida.
�Eagle Point, Texas.
�Pick a geographic location that you wish to analyze.

In your comparison, include a comparison of the sites over the 31-day period. Also include a comparison over a smaller time scale of 4 to 10 days. This shorter duration will allow you to see the tidal fluctuations in more detail. Your comparison should include graphs using the exact same vertical scale (water level range) so that you can see the difference in tidal range between stations. It may include graphing all four sites on the same graph or on four separate graphs that are aligned by time.

Discuss the type of tide at each location and the comparison including relative height, tide type, and time differences of high tides.

Instructions (Using Excel):
Using the Guam tidal data as a sample, follow these instructions for importing tidal data into Excel.
Guam Tidal Data
Importing Tidal Data

Once you are comfortable with importing tidal data into Excel, you can follow the same procedure for the other four data sets. You are graphing a 31-day period and a shorter (4- to 10-day period) for each of the four locations. Remember, to graph a shorter period, you must first select a smaller range of data.

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