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Teaching About the Ocean System Using New Research Techniques: Data, Models and Visualization
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Visualizations Useful for Teaching Tides

Compiled by Jeff Crabaugh at Carleton College (more info) (SERC) and the University of Wyoming

Photos, simple animations, animated maps (with video introduction), and field videos that can be integrated into lectures or classes on tides, their distribution in space and time, their role in sedimentary processes, and their use as an energy source.

Click here to browse the complete set of Visualization Collections.



What are Tides and What Causes Them?

Tides and Water Levels (more info) Animations, photos and illustrations are used to explain: 1) the relationship between the earth, moon and sun in the generation of tides; 2) frequency of tides; 3) tidal variations; and 4) types and causes of tidal cycles. Particularly useful in a class introducing tides for the first time.

Tides, McGraw Hill (more info) This QuickTime animation points out how the pull of gravity results in the tides. A high tide results on the near side of the Earth-moon alignment. The bulge on the opposite side results as the solid earth is pulled away from water on its far side where the moon's gravitational pull is weakest. These two high tide bulges stay in place as the earth rotates, leading to two high tides and two low tides every day.

Distribution of Tides in Space and Time:

Long Island Sound and Connecticut River Ocean Tide Simulation (more info) Two animated simulations showing color-coded water depths, as well as the location of high and low tides, across the sound and the river during specific phases of the moon. In a video-taped introduction, the utility of these animated maps is explained by Wesleyan University geologist Susan O'Connell.

Sedimentation and Geomorphology in a Mega-Tidal Setting: Bay of Fundy, Canada:

Sediment Transport Movies (more info) Ebbing of the Tide Video- Bay of Fundy: A 22 second time-lapse video of 45 minutes of ebb tide. The tide is seen to recede eventually exposing the large dune bedforms on the floor of the bay. The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world (over 15 meters). Click on 'Bay of Fundy- Ebb Tide'. This resource was filmed in 1968 by Canadian sedimentologist Gerard Middleton, McMaster University, and is archived and made available at the personal website of sedimentary geologist Paul Heller, University of Wyoming (more info) .

Sediment Transport Movies (more info) Bar Topography Video- Bay of Fundy: This video includes aerial views of the Bay of Fundy which has the highest tides in the world (over 15 meters), documents the surface features of bars, tidal flats, as well as the cross-stratification exposed in trenches dug through bars with large superimposed bedforms. Click on on 'Bay of Fundy-bar topography'. This resource was filmed in 1968 by Canadian sedimentologist Gerard Middleton, McMaster University, and is archived and made available at the personal website of sedimentary geologist Paul Heller, University of Wyoming (more info) .

Bay of Fundy: Undersea Landscapes: (more info) This resource includes a 3-D map of the bay relating associated photos, video of rising and falling of tide, and an interactive map illustrating vertical exaggeration (click on red-lettered links in side bar). The photos are vivid and well-connected to the text in depicting the physiography, ecosystems, and physical processes of the bay.

Generating Electricity from the Tides:

Tidal Power: (more info) This resource uses illustrations, photos, and supporting text to explain how electricity is derived from the flux of tides through human-engineered systems involving turbines or tidal 'fences'.

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