Earth System Topics: Oceans
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Estimating Exchange Rates of Water in Embayments using Simple Budget Equations.
Keith Sverdrup, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Simple budgets may be used to estimate the exchange of water in embayments that capitalize on the concept of steady state and conservation principals. This is especially true for bays that experience a significant exchange of freshwater. This exchange of freshwater may reduce the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if it involves addition of freshwater from rivers, R, and/or precipitation, P. Alternatively, it may increase the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if there is relatively little river input and high evaporation, E. Since freshwater input changes the salt concentration in the bay, and salt is a conservative material, it is possible to combine two steady state budgets for a bay, one for salt and one for water, to solve for the magnitude of the water flows that enter and exit the bay mouth. Students will make actual calculations for the inflow and outflow of water to Puget Sound, Washington and the Mediterranean Sea and compare them to actual measured values.
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Changing With the Tide
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
This lesson plan is written around a brief role-play in which students learn about and act out plants and animals in a salt marsh habitat as the tides change. -
Water Quality-Total Dissolved Solids
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students use a microcomputer connected to a conductivity probe to measure the total dissolved solids in local area water samples. -
Petra Dekens, San Francisco State University
This is an in-class activity designed to improve the students' understanding of the relationships between temperature and density, salinity and density, and density differences in driving vertical water ...
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students view and analyze buoy, satellite, temperature vs. depth data to learn about ocean circulation and how is related to atmospheric circulation. -
Exploring oil spills
Kevin Theissen, University of St. Thomas (MN)
This activity combines a hands-on demonstration and a follow-up homework assignment designed for students to investigate oil spill clean-up.
Lab 3: Building a Reef
The lab activity described here was created by Erin Bardar of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives During this lab, students learn about the life cycle of corals, including how ...
Lab 4: Finding Coral's Ideal Environment
The lab activity described here was created by Erin Bardar of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives Corals, like other living animals, require a particular range of environmental ...
Lab 5: Exploring Factors that Impact Coral Health
The lab activity described here was created by Erin Bardar of TERC for the EarthLabs project. Activity Summary and Learning Objectives In the previous lab, students explored the characteristics of the ocean ...
Seawater composition: an introduction
Joceline Boucher, Maine Maritime Academy
In this activity, students collaboratively "build" the hydrologic cycle and use it as a starting point for thinking about the composition of seawater.