King Tides Project Designed to Document Extreme High Tides | New

CARTERET COUNTY – Residents and visitors may notice a change in water levels along riparian areas from July 11-15 due to a “king tide”. According to the King Tides Project, king tides are the most extreme tidal events of the year, the highest high tide and the lowest low tide.

The King Tides Project is an international initiative to document extreme high tide events using photos provided by residents.

The North Carolina King Tides Project explains how to contribute photos to the project on a plaque near the water level gauge at Big Rock Landing. (Photo Rachel Jacob)

Dr. Christine Voss started the North Carolina King Tides Project in 2015, seeking to track changing high tide levels and the impact that change might have. She recently retired from the University of North Carolina at the Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Science, where she worked as a coastal habitat and ecosystem ecologist.

The goal of the project is to “visualize what normal high tides might look like in the future due to sea level rise” and to “create a record of how our coastline looks today and to follow future changes”. The project also seeks to “understand how sea level rise will impact local resources and community investments”.

“These ‘royal tides’ have always happened and will always happen,” Dr Voss said. She explained that their effect has become more pronounced now than when cities were built due to rising sea levels.

Royal tide events can affect business in low-lying areas, such as Front Street in Beaufort, due to flooding from exceptionally high tides. The biggest impact this week is expected on Wednesday, July 13, due to the biggest supermoon of the year.

At 5 a.m. on Wednesday, July 13, the moon will reach perigee, or its closest distance to earth in the moon’s elliptical orbit. Wednesday’s high tides are expected to be the most extreme of the week.

Dr. Voss noted that regardless of your location along the North Carolina coast, many factors impact water levels.

NOAA’s sea level rise viewer helps visualize where higher water levels could lead to flooding.

The North Carolina King Tides Project requests photos of tidal events, as well as any other flooding or flooding. Photos can be contributed using the Coastal Observer app.

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