Walking into the Sea


The Earth and the Moon behave as single system, rotating about a common center of mass. The main consequence of the eccentric motion about the Earth-Moon center of mass is the movement of the largest water bodies creating a high and low tide. This phenomenon is particularly visible in the northern coast of the Netherlands where the gravitational forces between the Earth and the Moon produce two high and two low tides per day in the North Sea, and in particular in the Dutch Wadden Sea, characterized by a chain of islands, which denote the outer boundary between the Wadden and North Sea as visible by the Google Earth image.

the netherlands

The 100m Proba-V image shows the Netherlands and a large part of Flanders, with part of the shallow Wadden Sea and inlands visible in the upper part as the most noticeable feature.


The Wadden Sea consists of various sand- and mudflats crossed by channels. As a result of tidal movement, these sandflats are submerged at high tides, but become exposed around low tides.

It is interesting to know that during the period of low tide and therefore when the Wadden Sea gets dry, there is the opportunity to reach the inlands by walking (Wadlopen – literally Mud-walking) and experience how it feels like to hike on the sea bed.


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