Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 74.djvu/534

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nodal line running northeasterly from the Lesser Antilles is not obscured. Referring now to the cotidal chart of the Atlantic Ocean (Fig. 5), it will be seen that the mean range of tide, as shown by Arabic numerals, is seven feet along the coast of Georgia, between two and three feet for the Bahamas, one foot for the outer coast of Porto Rico, and little or nothing some leagues farther eastward. Hence the observational proof of the existence of one end of this nodal line.

When it is high water along the Atlantic Coast of the United States, it should be low water between Brazil and western Africa; that is, because the tidal hour is twelve for the former locality, it should be six for the latter. Doubtless such is the case for the portion of the tide depending upon the system now under consideration. But the system previously considered, viz., that extending from Guiana and Brazil to southern Greenland, gives eight for the tidal hour off the Brazilian coast. This explains why the observed times of tide between western Africa and Brazil fall between six and eight o'clock.

All along the southeastern coast of Brazil, the tidal hour is six, while west of Cape of Good Hope it is about twelve—but not exactly twelve because this locality is influenced by a progressive wave due to the existence of the Gulf of Guinea,

Farther south, along the Antarctic Continent, the tidal hour is doubtless six, but no observations are available for verifying this conclusion.

It may be noted here, and before going farther, that upon the small chart of the world (Fig. 4), the unshaded water areas are such that forces acting upon them, and them alone, can produce little tide either in such areas themselves or in other parts of the oceans. In other words, if they possess tides, these will depend upon the tides existing in such portions of the oceans as are comparatively well suited for their production. Heavy lines upon the chart indicate outer boundaries of systems. If rigid walls were erected along the outer boundaries of any particular system, the forces would incite tides of considerable size in the waters bounded by the walls and the shore lines; the tides of the system, if kept down by resistance, would nearly agree in their times of occurrence with the tides actually existing. These hypothetical bodies of water, together with such landward dependencies as have their tides occurring simultaneously with those of the body proper and upon which the forces act, are shaded by means of light parallel lines. In a particular ocean, the systems are distinguished by the directions given to the lines of shading. Double shading indicates an overlapping of systems.

The waters surrounding the British Isles have, as a rule, large tides accompanied by swift tidal streams. They depend chiefly upon the rise and fall of that part of the ocean situated to the southwestward of these isles.