Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Sea playing hide and seek - Chandipur Beach,Odisha, India

Weak Neap Tides: Sun-Earth-Moon at a right
Chandipur on the eastern coast of Odisha (Orissa), India.Watching the sea vanish right in front of your eyes and then observing its return is a very rare
Chandipur on the eastern coast of Odisha (Orissa), India.
Certain Natural phenomena are awe-inspiring and baffle our imagination. Aurora Borealis, comets, etc., have attracted the attentions of Astronomers world over, so are the sunspot activities that cause huge electromagnetic storms. These are not common happenings and they occur once in a while, particularly Comets.

Right on the Earth  if you happen to live near a beach, almost daily you will be thrilled to watch the ebb and flow of sea water -  alternating high tides and low tides. They have been a regular natural phenomenon happening ever since the formation of oceans. Normally  world over, with some exceptions, the  sea does not recede (horizontal difference) that much during low tides. However, if you ever watch  sea receding as much as four to five kilometers into the shelf  almost every day, you will literally stand there dump-founded. It will be a captivating experience.

Such a rare natural phenomenon does occur almost daily in a place called  Chandipur on the eastern coast of Odisha (Orissa), India. In a  diverse country such as India, there are many strange natural wonders that remain either poorly studied or reported in the media to gather the attention of inquisitive mind. 

 This beach is about 200 KM from Cuttack city and 230 KM from  Bhubaneswar, capital of Odisha. Attracted by this nature's wonder lots of people visit this place and many venture to walk into the sea-bed as far as one kilometer in very shallow depth of water just  to get the thrill out of it.

The high and low tide are caused by the gravitational forces between the earth and the moon. The resultant bulging in the ocean of the earth occurs on both sides of the earth - near the moon as well as away from the moon. The former is caused by the  gravitational pull of the moon on the water body, the latter is due to pulling the  ''earth'' away from the water body on the other side. 

The reason for occurrence of two tides a day is due to the fact that The Earth rotates  180 degrees on its axis in a 12 hr period, whereas the moon, meanwhile rotates  6 degrees around the earth in the same period ie 12 hr. The two bulges on both sides mean on  any coastal area there will be high tide every 12 hours and 25 mts to be exact.

The greatest tides (in terms of height) in the world occur in the Bay of Fundy, Atlantic coast of N. America. Burntcoat Head in the Minas Basin, Nova Scotia, Canada has the greatest mean spring range with 14.5 meters (47.5 feet) and an extreme range of 16.3 meters (53.5 feet).” 

Chandipur, Odisha, India is one of the few places in this world where the differences in low and high tides are the largest as much as  one to four kilometers plus during the ebb and  at the time of 
return of high-tide. Horseshoe crab is also found here in plenty on the beach towards Mirzapur,