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Scientists need your help with The N.C. King Tides Project

A series of social media videos show extremely high tide along the streets of North Myrtle...
A series of social media videos show extremely high tide along the streets of North Myrtle Beach early Friday morning. (Source: Tracey562/Twitter)
Updated: Jan. 23, 2019 at 5:41 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Living at the coast, we’ve all seen extreme high and low tides.

Scientists are looking to document events which cause the extreme ups and downs of the ocean levels. Especially during King Tides events, which make the water levels rise to the highest levels. The University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences is participating in an international project called The North Carolina King Tides Project which is part of an international project.

The King Tides Project started in Australia and made its way to the United States to document high water events so it can help us visualize what normal water levels will be like in the future.The logo for the King Tides Project is “Snap the Shore and See the Future," and that’s exactly what this project is helping scientists do.

A King Tide is the highest high and lowest low tide events of the year. They are regular and predictable events that occur when the moon is at its closest point to the earth. These conditions cause extreme highs and lows during the daily tidal cycle. However there are other factors which influence the tide levels here along our coast, such as meteorological effects like wind, rain and warm gulf stream currents.

What is slightly different about the North Carolina King Tides Project is the astronomical forcing is relatively small here and more affected by the meteorological impacts to the tides. This means it’s a little hard to predict water levels along our coast . That’s why The Kings Tide Project is asking citizens along the coast to participate in their research. It’s as simple as snapping a picture of the tides on your smartphone and uploading it to their app called "What’s Your Water Level.”

When you upload data, they ask that you provide your latitude and longitude coordinates which can be a date and time stamp on the photo. It can be very beneficial to their research. There’s also a few tidal gauges around our area where you can measure the depth of the water as well, listed below along with their coordinates:

  • 34.036560, -77.892740
  • 34.044940, -77.888730
  • 34.049870, -77.919160
  • 34.214410, -77.799260
  • 34.428436, -77.549856

You can find out more from their website and a like to their Web App here.

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