Test of the Tide: King Tide 2017-2018 Hits the Beach

The Pacific Northwest has weathered three bouts of high spring tides this King Tide season. King tides are the highest of the spring tides. On my home beaches, I’m talking about fall or winter spring tides. They occur during daylight, usually around noon, so they are easy to keep photographic track of. Combined with large…

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King Tide 2016

King Tide 2016 has come and gone. If you missed it, the winter season offers one more opportunity. Another round of high spring tides will test the capacity of coastal shorelines everywhere in mid-January, 2017. I wrote about the November 2016 King Tide in It’s Not This Time of Year Without High Tides and Crashing…

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It’s Not This Time of Year Without High Tides and Crashing Surf

The highest spring tides are a sign of the season. On my home beaches winter also means high surf. When the two combine they’re a force of nature. I’ve visited this stump during the highest spring tides since 2012. It takes a good high tide and respectable surf to wet it. The photo shows the…

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The Dynamic Wrack Line

Every winter high surf and rivers swelled by drenching storms combine with high tides to replenish the wrack line. It’s an annual cycle of renewal, muted only when winter storms are mild. Recent winters on my home beaches have seen few storms, low surf, and little replenishment of the wrack line. That changed this winter.…

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My 2015 King Tide Project – Swell Matters

I have a fascination with very high and very low tides. Who doesn’t – they’re rare events and when they occur, things happen. Low tides are great for the naturalist; everybody’s out digging clams and exploring rarely exposed beaches and tidepools. Very high tides catch just about everybody’s attention. Coastal flooding and beach erosion can…

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Sampling Surfperch on the Incoming Tide

I’m always getting asked how several species of closely related small silvery surfperch can share sandy beaches without tripping over each other.  How do they partition the surf zone?  Do they eat different prey, avoid each other?  Maybe they find other ways to coexist.  Our fascination with coexistence is well-founded; it explains why there are…

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Comparing King Tides

King tide is a nickname for the highest spring tides of the year and an important milestone for many people with ties to ocean shores.  I gave a little bit of information about it just over a year ago in King Tide.  There is an Oregon King Tide Photo Initiative, and similar projects at various coastal localities…

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