Tides are periodic deformations of a planet’s solid, liquid, and gaseous substances due to their locally changing gravitational attraction to an orbiting object. This article will limit itself to marine tides on Earth caused by the Moon.
Tides are highly productive ecologic zones, providing an ideal and variable mix of nutrients, water, and energy for life. Wetting and drying cycles in sandy pore spaces in tidal zones make ideal biochemical laboratories, and the strong abrasive forces provided by rolling sand grains result in high rates of lateral gene transfers between injured or squashed cells. Recent and ancient tidal zones have thus long attracted the attention of biologists, prebiotic chemists, and geneticists. Nevertheless, the dynamics of tidal zones in the deep geologic past are difficult to quantify.
Apollo Lunar Laser Ranging since the 1970 has established that the radius of the Moon’s orbit about Earth currently...
KeywordsTides Archean Moon Tidal friction Tidal range
References and Further Reading
- Brosche P (1984). Tidal friction in the Earth–Moon system. In: Hide R, Wilkins GA, McCrea WH, Message PJ, Runcorn SK (eds) Rotation in the solar system. J R Soc London 313, p 71–75Google Scholar
- Mueller WU, Corcoran PL, Donaldson JA (2002). Sedimentology of tide- and wave-influenced high-energy Archaean coastline: the Jackson Lake Formation, Slave province, Canada. In: Altermann W, Corcoran P (eds) Special Publication International Association of Sedimentologists 33, 153–182Google Scholar