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Ocean Motions, Part 1 - Tides and Waves



Ocean Motions, Part 1 - Tides and Waves
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.43

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    sandcastle, undertow, breakers, circular, particle, shoreline, lower, lowest, breaker, meters, neap, opposite, crest, actually, wavelength, trough


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Ocean Motions, Part 1 - Tides and Waves
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     The oceans are always moving. The water moves in different ways and different directions. Have you ever visited the ocean? If so, you probably noticed one kind of ocean movement- waves. What are waves, and what causes them?
 
2     Waves are energy that moves through the water. They are caused by wind and the pull of the moon's gravity on the earth. Some waves can be caused by earthquakes under the ocean.
 
3     Ocean waves begin as ripples on the earth's surface. Although it may seem that the waves are moving forward, they are really not. Energy is being passed on from one particle of water to the next. The water moves in a circular pattern until the energy is passed on. The water particles actually stay in one place.
 
4     Waves are found mostly on the surface of the water. As you go deeper, the wave motion stops. There are no waves in deep water unless there is an earthquake or tidal movement.
 
5     Ocean waves are a lot like sound waves. They have a crest and a trough. The crest is the highest point of the wave. The lowest point is called the trough. The length and height of a wave can also be measured. The distance between two crests is called the wavelength. The distance between the crest and the trough is the wave height.

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