After my trip to New Brunswick this summer, I wrote about area history and culture, wine, food (and table manners), but I haven’t yet written about science and nature. Turns out the region has some amazing stuff going on, and I’m not referring to Magnetic Hill.
One of the most popular attractions in the Moncton area is the Hopewell Rocks, where the formations have been shaped by the twice-daily arrival of the highest tides in the world. On my first day in the province I spent several hours at the Rocks. Get there, if you can — this is a really beautiful place with historic and geological significance.
But this post is not about the Hopewell Rocks, at least not directly. This post is about a related event which, though less grand in scale, is super cool to watch. This post is about the tidal bore.
As we know from the lyrics of “Unchained Melody”, rivers flow to the sea. The Peticodiac River, which bisects Moncton, is no different; it flows out into the Bay of Fundy… which twice daily fills with the world’s highest tides. The pressure of all this water–100 billion tonnes per day–actually pushes the river water back inland. This is called a tidal bore (click to open a video of it in action, taken by Anna-Marie Weir, owner at Roads to Sea Guided Tours). Anne-Marie has a tide schedule and can take you to see this phenomenon twice daily.
The time of the tidal bore varies, as does the height of the tidal wave which can be just a few inches to a few feet–but size isn’t everything. The tidal bore is seen in only a few places in the world, and there’s something about watching a wave running the wrong way up a river that’s a little bit thrilling.