Tidal Wave: Visualizing NOAA Tidal Predictions

Presenter: Violet Lingenfelter

Research Category: Humanities and Arts
College: College of Science
Major(s): Environmental Science
Graduation Date: 2021

Tidal Wave is a visual exploration of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) daily high/low tidal projections. For any of their tidal stations, NOAA predicts the times and water levels of the high and low tides for the next month. Historically, marigrams (graphic records of the rise and fall of water level) have been used to visualize tidal patterns. By taking a more artistic interpretation of the marigram, we can begin to see some of the daily and monthly patterns that exist in the tides. Tidal Wave focuses on a single NOAA station in Moss Landing, California, and presents six new ways to visualize the predicted tidal highs and lows for the next 30 days at that station.  The data visualizations are updated daily to reflect changes in the predicted highs and lows. Each visualization represents the same dataset slightly differently, allowing different patterns within the dataset to shine. The goal of the project is not to educate people on how tides work, but instead to spark curiosity in natural phenomena through interesting and aesthetically-pleasing visual pieces.