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Storm Tides of the Fundy

Con Desplanque and David J. Mossman
Geographical Review
Vol. 89, No. 1 (Jan., 1999), pp. 23-33
DOI: 10.2307/216138
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/216138
Page Count: 11
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Storm Tides of the Fundy
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Abstract

Historically, storm tides wreaked havoc in the Bay of Fundy. With the tidal system resonating at close to the 12-hour, 25-minute dominant lunar tide of the Atlantic Ocean, variations in normal Fundy tides are in the main caused by astronomical factors. The strongest Fundy tides occur when the three elements-anomalistic, synodical, and tropical monthly cycles-peak simultaneously. The closest match occurs at intervals of 18.03 years, a time known as the Saros. Problems arise when storms coincide with these intervals. A strong Saros has coincided with several major historical storm tides in the Bay of Fundy, including the 1976 Groundhog Day storm, the 1869 Saxby Tide, and the 1759 storm tide. With continuing global sea-level rise and regional crustal subsidence, the possible recurrence of destructive storm tides has grave implications for property owners and settlements in the Fundy coastal zone.

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