Head of tide

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search

Head of tide or tidal limit[2] is the farthest point upstream where a river is affected by tidal fluctuations,[3] or where the fluctuations are less than a certain amount.[4] This applies to rivers which flow into tidal bodies such as oceans, bays and deltas.

Though this point may vary due to storms, spring tides, and seasonal or annual differences in water flows, there is generally an average point which is accepted as the head of tide (in Great Britain this is the Normal Tidal Limit, typically noted on Ordnance Survey maps as 'NTL').[1] A river's tidal data are recorded at various locations downstream of this point. A river's head of tide may be considered the upper boundary of its estuary.

The head of tide is important in surveying, navigation, and fisheries management, and thus many jurisdictions establish a legal head of tide. As the head of tide is useful for navigation, separate maps can be made of the tidal zones up to the head of tide, such as was done in New Jersey.[5]

The head of tide may be many miles upstream from the river's mouth. For example, on the Hudson River, it is located 140 miles (225 km) upstream, near Albany, New York. On the Saint Lawrence River, tides affect shipping upstream past Quebec City, which is located several hundred miles inland from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 121 Lincoln & Newark-on-Trent (Map). 1 : 50,000. OS Landranger Map Series. Ordnance Survey. 2004. ISBN 9780319227213.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "tidal limit". Australian Water Information Dictionary. Commonwealth of Australia Bureau of Meteorology. 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Richard A. Davis (Jr.); Richard A. Davis, Jr.; Robert W. Dalrymple (20 October 2011). Principles of Tidal Sedimentology. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 82. ISBN 978-94-007-0123-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. William H. Conner; Thomas W. Doyle; Ken W. Krauss (24 June 2007). Ecology of Tidal Freshwater Forested Wetlands of the Southeastern United States. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 36. ISBN 978-1-4020-5095-4.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. New Jersey