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Next: Tide Generating Potential Up: Terrestrial Ocean Tides Previous: Terrestrial Ocean Tides


This chapter outlines the classical theory of terrestrial ocean tides, the study of which was pioneered by Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827). Our treatment of ocean tides takes all major harmonics of the tide generating potential into account, as well as the finite elasticity of the Earth, and the self-gravity of the oceans. As will become apparent, the theory of terrestrial ocean tides is extremely complicated. Hence, for the sake of simplicity and brevity, we shall only consider two relatively idealized scenarios. First, tides in a frictionless ocean of constant depth that covers the whole surface of the Earth, and, second, tides in a frictionless ocean of constant depth that only covers one hemisphere of the Earth (and lies between two meridians of longitude). It turns out that these two scenarios (in particular, the latter) exhibit most of the observed features of terrestrial ocean tides. More information on terrestrial tides can be found in Lamb 1993 and Cartwright 1999.

Richard Fitzpatrick 2016-03-31