Bay of Fundy
The Bay at high tide The same spot at low tide
The greatest tidal amplitude in the world occurs in the Bay of Fundy - located between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Ungava Bay, on the north coast of Quebec is a close second. The Minas Basin at the head of the Bay of Fundy regularly shows a tidal amplitude of 16 metres between high and low spring tides. The reason for the extreme tides are the strong Atlantic winds that push water into the Bay of Fundy, causing a rocking movement. This oscillating movement happens in synchrony with the tides, driving the water higher into the Bay than along the coast. The shape of the bay also facilitates the high tidal amplitudes. Its basin-like shape narrows to a tip and suddenly becomes very shallow. Because water is being squeezed into an enclosed area, it has no where elso to go but up, and therefore rises to a substantial height. Ancient Micmac folklore suggested that the extraordinarily high tides in the Bay of Fundy were caused by a mighty whale that splashed its tail into the water with such a force that the water continues to slosh back and forth from the impact, even to this day.