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Browse Visualizations

You can use this page to browse through all of the individual visualizations that have been cataloged in our digital library. You can also browse them as collections related to particular topics.



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Milankovitch Cycles

This Flash animation outlines the concepts on which Milankovitch Cycles are based. It explains how regular variations in orbital eccentricity, changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis, and the precession of the Earth's axis contribute to changes in global climate. To access this animation, click on the "view animation" icon located on the right hand side of the "Milankovitch Cycles" description. The animation can be paused and rewound to emphasize important points. To view all content, click on the "next view" icon to advance to the next animation frame.

Observe Changes in the Channel of a Meandering River

This aerial photo of the Rio Puerco River in New Mexico shows the path of the river channel in four different years. Flash enabled slides superimpose meandering patterns from 1935, 1958, 1973, and 1990 to show how the river has changed course over time. Users can click to turn the river's path on or off for each year and examine the paths to see where straight sections of the river developed meanders or meandering sections were later straightened.

Oxbow Lake Formation

This animation shows the process of oxbow lake formation. Detailed captions and slides explain how differential flow velocities and the resulting patterns of deposition and erosion along river banks eventually lead to the development of an oxbow. Click play button to view each slide.

Stream Deposition Patterns

This Flash animation reveals deposition patterns associated with a river flowing into a lake. The animation shows a cross-section of stream flow as it enters a lake, with decreasing velocity reducing the water's ability to carry sediments in suspension. The conditions create a predictable pattern of deposition with the largest sediments deposited near the shore and smaller sediments settling farther out where the water is calmer. The animation may be played, paused, forwarded, and rewound manually.

Watershed Delineation

This Flash animation from Michigan Tech drapes a watershed boundary upon a mountainous landscape and then shows how, after rainfall, surface runoff is funneled into a hierarchical drainage net. The animation shows how the watershed's trunk stream leaves the confines of the basin to drain adjacent watersheds.

Turbidity Current Movies

These turbidity, or density, current movies from Wesleyan University's Learning Objects website show turbidity current experiments conducted in a 1 meter long tank. In the lab, the tank angle and liquid density can be varied to observe various flow patterns which can be digitally recorded and later observed to calculate the different flow rates.

Indian Ocean Tsunami Quicktime Animation

This Quicktime animation, by Dr. Steven Ward at the Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics at the University of California - Santa Cruz, shows the tsunami's progress across the Indian Ocean. It also shows some water level graphs and wave run-up heights throughout the region.

2004 Sumatra Earthquake

This visualization from Kenji Satake at the Active Fault Research Center in Tsukuba, Japan, highlights the crests and troughs of the tsunami waves as they travel across the Indian Ocean and refract around islands. Also featured is the manner in which the waves and interfere with each other. The red color means that the water surface is higher than normal, while the blue means lower. This animation runs continually.

NOAA East African Coast Tsunami Animation

This NOAA visualization tracks the tsunami waves until they reach the East African coast of Somalia. This Quicktime animation can be paused, rewound and advanced.

NOAA World Wide Tsunami Animation

This NOAA visualization was created by combining two other tsunami models - the Indian Ocean and East African Coast tsunami animations. This movie shows the worldwide propagation of the tsunami waves. This is a very large file. This Quicktime animation can be paused, rewound and advanced.



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