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Lunar-solar rhythmpatterns: Towards the material cultures of tides

Jones, Owain


Owain Jones


The movements of the oceans, and the liminal margins of sea, land and fresh water have profound implications for human / non-human life. Those movements and margins are rhythmically affected by tides which are thus a key means by which the forceful materiality of water is animated. Where salt water meets land and river mouths, ceaseless, varying, daily, monthly and seasonal rhythms of sea level rise and fall occur. Complex patterns and rhythms of inter-tidal areas, currents, mixing of salt and fresh water, erosion, transportation and deposition and many impacts on human systems are created. Due to location, orientation and sea/land topography, coastal areas around the world are subject to either microtides, mesotides, or macrotides (4 metres and higher). Particularly in the case of the latter, the rhythms of the tides extend out into a range of intersecting eco-social assemblages. This paper discusses tides and their rhythms, sets them in debates about temporality/nature, and introduces the idea of rhythmpattern which is timespace animated. It also considers dissonance and consonance within and between tidal rhythmpatterns and their overwriting by development.


Jones, O. (2011). Lunar-solar rhythmpatterns: Towards the material cultures of tides. Environment and Planning A, 43(10), 2285-2303.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2011
Journal Environment and Planning A
Print ISSN 0308-518X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 43
Issue 10
Pages 2285-2303
Keywords rhythmpatterns, tidal geographies, temporal ecologies, rhythms, material culture
Public URL
Publisher URL


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