Tsunami and the Depth of the Ocean
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Collection
Resources in this top level collection a) must have scored Exemplary or Very Good in all five review categories, and must also rate as “Exemplary” in at least three of the five categories. The five categories included in the peer review process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: May 30, 2013
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
- Basic algebra (re-arranging equations).
- Characteristics of waves and how to estimate their celerity (shallow-water and deep-water)
- Latitude and Longitude
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
- Investigation of shallow-water wave velocity and its uses
- High velocity of tsunami
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
- Evaluation of simple wave celerity concepts to apply to what appears to be a different phenomenon (tsunami)
- Reasoning through hurdles (tsunami can't go overland) to reach an accurate conclusion
- Analysis of water depths and explanations for geographic variance
Other skills goals for this activity
- Practice in simple algebra and calculation
- Use of WWW for calculation (great-circle distances in this case)
Description and Teaching Materials
- Tsunami lab for ocean depth estimation student activity.doc (Microsoft Word 67kB May30 13) –Student handout
- Tsunami lab solution set.doc (Microsoft Word 67kB May30 13)
- Tsunami lab and Ocean Depths Instructor Notes.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 26kB May30 13)
- Tsunami lab.xlsx (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 40kB Jun11 13) – spreadsheet with raw data, calculations.
- NOAA tsunami datasets (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 69kB Jun11 13) - Data from NOAA database
Teaching Notes and Tips
See Instructor notes.
NOAA tsunami datasets.xlsx contains key data for all localities with arrival times in the NOAA tsunami database for the 1964 Alaska, 2010 Chile, and 2011 Japan tsunami. This gets around the glitch in extracting data from the Web described in my documents. These localities would allow you to add conveniently other locations to the activity.
I have an exam question based on this lab that I use to see if students retain understanding of the approach. See instructor notes.
References and Resources
See Warning in instructor notes for current (as of May 17, 2013) limitations of extracting data from this database.