HI, my name is Jackson. I am doing a science fair project on volcanic tides & I was wondering if you could give me some tips.

Hello Jackson!   I am not sure I understand your question…

  1. If you are asking if volcanoes have an effect on Earth’s ocean tides, then the answer is no.   Tides are created from the gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon on our oceans.  
  2. If, however, you are asking if that same gravitational pull has an effect on lava then the answer is (probably) yes – though only slightly.  There have been a few papers published over the years linking eruptions to lunar tides. The view is that tides can help to trigger eruptions, but the volcano has to be primed and ready to go anyway.  For a good review, check out the article ‘Tidal triggering of earthquakes and volcanic events’ by Dieter Emter, Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences, Volume 66/1997.   
  3. However, it is also possible you were referring to tsunami tides generated by volcanoes.  A tsunami is a Japanese word that means large sea wave, mostly produced by an undersea earthquake, but it can be produced also by undersea volcanic eruptions. Such a large sea wave is often called a “Tidal Wave,” which is a misnomer because the large sea wave has nothing to do with tides.  Today, however, we have good reason to believe that it is not a drop of the sea floor, but the splash of material ejected by the volcano falling back into the water that produces a tsunami.

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