HOME MINKE RIGHT FINBACK SEI HUMPBACK ORCA BLUE
SUPPORT ETHICS TALES SONGS IMAGES GUESTBOOK LINKS SHARKS

The article below was taken from the Times Globe Friday, Mar.20/98.

Tidal Power in a Tube
A new exhibit will help explain the awesome power of the Bay of Fundy's tides.

By Marni Weisz
Times Globe staff writer

Tidal Power in a Tube

    The New Brunswick Museum officially was to unveil its newest exhibit today, a huge transparent tube.
    But this is not just any huge, trans- parent tube, it is the Fundy Tidal Tower - a 13 metre high glass cylinder that extends from the foyer to the third level and keeps track of one of New Brunswick's most famous natural wonders.
    "The water actually rises and falls in synch with the Fundy tides," says Zita Longobardi, public affairs manager for the museum.
    The tower is situated in the middle of the main staircase. And, yes, if you run outside to the harbour you should be able to see that the water is at the same level outside as it is inside the tube.
    Other locations along the Fundy coast are also marked on the tower so that visitors can compare the height of the tide in various spots along the Bay.
    The mechanism is relatively simple, but effective.
    "We have a hose in the harbour and a holding tank inside the museum, and the water is moved by air pressure," says Mr. Longobardi.
    The idea for the tower came from a mystery woman in Grand Manan. Ms. Longobardi says that two or three years ago the museum's director, Frank Milligan toured the province looking for ideas.
    He encountered the woman at a public meeting.
    "She said why don't you put a tube up the middle of the building that will show us the tides? We don't even know that lady's name," says Ms. Longobardi.
    But the idea seemed a natural way to tap into the province's efforts to promote the Bay of Fundy as a tourist attraction.
    "It seems like an appropriate place to start a Fundy experience," says Ms. Longobardi. From there tourists can continue along the coast venturing out on a whale watching expedition or to see the effects of the tides on a spot like the Flowerpot Rocks at Hopewell Cape.
    A team of architects, plumbers, and glass specialists have been working on the project for about a year. Until a month or two ago it was covered by a blue vinyl sheet.
    Ms. Longobardi says that the project cost about $75,000.
    At today's ceremony it was to be announced that the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) contributed $70,000 to the construction, and the provincial government contributed another $5,000.

Fundy Tide-Bits

    How nutrient-rich are Fundy's waters? In just two weeks, sandpipers feeding on Fundy shores will double their weight! Bon appetit!
    World-renowned ornithologist James Audubon was a frequent visitor to the Bay of Fundy, and did many of his sketches while on Grand Manan Island.
    Fundy's onslaught of water every 12 hours and 30 minutes is estimated to nearly equal the 24-hour flow of all the rivers in the world!

A Tidal Glossary

Apogean Tide: A monthly tide of decreased range that occurs when the Moon is farthest from Earth (at apogee).
Diurnal: Applies to a location that normally experiences one high water and one low water during a tidal day of approximately 24 hours.
Mean Lower Low Water: The arithmetic mean of the lesser of a daily pair of low waters, observed over a specific 19-year cycle called the National Tidal Datum Epoch.
Neap Tide: A tide of decreased range occurring twice a month, when the Moon is in quadrature (during the first and last quarter Moons, when the Sun and the Moon are at right angles to each other relative to Earth).
Perigean Tide: A monthly tide of increased range that occurs when the Moon is closest to Earth (at perigee).
Semidiurnal: Having a period of half a tidal day. East Coast tides, for example, are semidiurnal, with two highs and two lows in approximately 24 hours.
Spring Tide: Named not for the season of spring, but from the German springen (to leap up). This tide of increased range occurs at times of syzygy (q.v.) each month. A spring tide also brings a lower low water.


Back

HOME MINKE RIGHT FINBACK SEI HUMPBACK ORCA BLUE
SUPPORT ETHICS TALES SONGS IMAGES GUESTBOOK LINKS SHARKS