Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/532

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

these ocean basins to send off progressive waves into other parts of the oceans and into seas, gulfs, bays and tidal rivers.

By a stationary oscillation is meant a mode of motion which can be readily set up and maintained in a tank, vase or other artificial vessel of water. High water at one end of a rectangular body of water occurs when it is low water at the other end, if the simplest mode of oscillation be under consideration. Between the two ends is a line, styled "nodal line," along which there is neither rise nor fall but across which the horizontal motion of the liquid particles is comparatively great. In order that a large and regular oscillation may be maintained, it is necessary that the natural period of the basin of water be very nearly equal to the period of the applied forces: just as a resonator must have certain dimensions if a particular musical tone is to be reinforced by its presence. An oscillation is best sustained if the phases (or time-angles) of the forces, all parts of the system being considered, agree, as well as may be, with the phases of the velocities of the water particles. This furnishes a clue to the times of the tides when one knows the times of the vanishing of the forces.

Obviously, if two rectangular basins performing simultaneous oscillations in accordance with their simplest modes be put together end-to-end, and the partition between them removed, the whole body may be made to so oscillate that high water will occur simultaneously at the two ends, while it will be low water over the central portion. The nodal lines will remain in the same positions as before, crossing the individual bodies midway between their real and virtual ends., or the new body at points one quarter of the body's length from either end. The individual bodies each comprise a half wave-length of the whole-wave system to which they now belong. The oscillation in each of the individual bodies is said to be "uninodal" and that in the whole body, "binodal."


No-tide Points

Points shown upon the charts (Figs. 5, 6 and 7) from which the cotidal lines radiate, are no-tide points; that is, points at each of which there is no rise and fall of tide. In the oceans these points are due to the fact that the times of the tides around them and which times are dependent upon stationary or progressive waves, or both, must take successively all values from one to twelve, because in open water sudden changes in time can not occur.

In narrow arms of the sea, no-tide points may result from dependent stationary oscillations influenced by the deflecting force of the earth's rotation. This, for the northern hemisphere, is such that if we always face the direction towards which the flood or ebb stream is flowing, water will be piled up upon the side of the channel then situated upon the right, and drawn away from the opposite bank. The reverse of this occurs for channels situated in south latitude.