Tides and Currents:

What is a rip current?

Rip currents are powerful, narrow channels of fast-moving water that are prevalent along the East, Gulf, and West coasts of the U.S., as well as along the shores of the Great Lakes. Moving at speeds of up to eight feet per second, rip currents can move faster than an Olympic swimmer.

Rip Current Science (Ocean Today)

You might have heard them referred to as “undertow” or “rip tides,” but these ocean phenomena are actually rip currents.

Ocean Safe with Bruckner Chase (Ocean Today)

Bruckner Chase is an endurance waterman with a lifetime of experience in the ocean. Check out his advice on how to stay safe in the ocean.

Motion in the ocean (Podcast)

You know about ocean tides, but how much do you know about ocean currents? Watch our three-minute video podcast to learn what puts the motion in the ocean.

Charting new waters (Podcast)

Boaters rely on NOAA's nautical charts for depth measurements so they don't accidentally ground on sandbars or other underwater obstructions. See how NOAA updates nautical charts with high tech tools—including new experimental ocean "robots" that are small enough to survey the nation's shallowest coastal areas.

Measuring water levels with microwaves (Podcast)

We visit a research station perched at the end of a long pier in Duck, North Carolina, to get a close-up look at the microwave radar water level sensor—a revolutionary step forward in how NOAA measures water levels around the nation.

Tsunami Strike: Japan Part I: Destruction (Ocean Today)

On March 11, 2011 a 9.0 magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast of Japan generated a tsunami.

Tsunami Strike: Japan Part II: Propagtion (Ocean Today)

80 miles east of Japan, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake rocks the ocean floor.

Tsunami Strike: Japan Part III: Warning Systems (Ocean Today)

These are the sounds of a tsunami warning. They alert residents that a killer wave is about to strike.

Ocean Science Robots (Ocean Today)

In the waters off of Martha's Vineyard, the Office of Naval Research is using unmanned and robotic systems to investigate how sediments on the ocean floor are moved around by currents and waves.

Tsunami Awareness (Ocean Today)

When you're in a coastal area, it's important to keep alert for messages from local officials, such as lifeguards, police, The US Tsunami Warning Centers and NOAA All Hazards Radio.

Adopt a Drifter (Ocean Today)

Through the NOAA Adopt a Drifter Program, kids are learning about ocean currents in real time, as scientists collect and analyze ocean data.

Travel the Seas (Ocean Today)

At first glance, a nautical chart may look overwhelming. But once you learn what the various lines, numbers, and symbols mean, reading these charts becomes a lot easier.

Hurricane Storm Surge (Ocean Today)

Powerful winds aren't the only deadly force during a hurricane. The greatest threat to life actually comes from the water - in the form of storm surge.

News of the Day - Southern Ocean Current Found (Ocean Today)

Did you know there's massive southern ocean current almost two miles below the ocean's surface? Incredible!

What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? (Ocean Today)

Garbage patches are large areas of marine debris concentration that are formed by rotating ocean currents called gyres. A garbage patch is made up of tiny plastic pieces called “microplastics”.

Rip Current Safety For Kids (Ocean Today)

We all love the beach in the summer. The sun, the sand, and the surf. But just because we're having fun, doesn't mean we can forget about safety.

Observing El Niño (Ocean Today)

El Niño and La Niña are periodic weather patterns resulting from interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere in the tropical Pacific Ocean.

Rip Current Survival Guide (Ocean Today)

A rip current is a narrow, fast-moving channel of water that starts near the beach and extends offshore through the line of breaking waves.

Break the Grip of the Rip (Ocean Today)

We all love the beach in the summer. The sun, the sand, and the surf. But just because we're having fun, doesn't mean we can forget about safety.

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