Tidal race

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View to Lunga from Scarba, across Scotland's "Grey Dog" tidal race Lunga and the Grey Dog.jpg
View to Lunga from Scarba, across Scotland's "Grey Dog" tidal race

Tidal race or tidal rapid is a natural occurrence whereby a fast-moving tide passes through a constriction, resulting in the formation of waves, eddies and hazardous currents. The constriction can be a passage where the sides narrow, for example the Gulf of Corryvreckan and the Saltstraumen maelstrom, or an underwater obstruction (a reef or rising seabed), such as is found at the Portland Race in the United Kingdom.


In extreme cases, such as Skookumchuck Narrows in British Columbia, through which tides can travel at more than 17 knots, very large whirlpools develop, which can be extremely hazardous to navigation.

Notable tidal races

See also


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