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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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Global Climate Animations

This site features animations that show the climatology of the seasonal cycle for the time period 1959-1997. The individual frames in each animation show the map pattern of the long-term average of a particular monthly climate variable. Animation topics include global energy balance, temperature, global water balance, and atmospheric circulation and winds. The animations are used as teaching tools in climatology and global environmental change courses to visualize the seasonal variations of, and interactions among a set of climate variables. Animations are presented as both animated .gif files and as Flash animations.

Discover Our Earth

Discover Our Earth contains a wide range of information related to Earth science using graphs, maps, and movies. The focal topics are earthquakes, volcanoes, topography, plate tectonics, and sea level change. There are three main areas to access the data: Educators, Students, and Web Tools. The Educators section is designed to provide teachers with basic background information about selected Earth science topics and suggest several student activities and exercises that can be employed in classroom settings. Educators are encouraged to adopt, adapt, and modify exercises to suit their needs or situation. The Students section provides critical background information and primarily prepares students to start using the web tool QUEST (Quick Use Earth Science Study Tool). Using QUEST, students are able to experiment and test their own ideas and hypotheses related to any topics provided in these pages. With the tools and information provided, students are able to actively engage in an earth science knowledge discovery, critically evaluate the data and results, and reach their own conclusions about the earth system processes. Two Java-based, interactive data analyses and mapping tools allow customized access to a large variety of earth science data sets that are used by research scientists. The first Java applet, QUEST, has been designed and developed to be used by beginning and intermediate level earth science students. It has an easy-to-use interface that allows access to key earth science data sets. The second Java applet, GEOID (Geoscience Interactive Data tool), is more appropriate for advanced users, and provides a dynamic mapping interface and can be used to access all of the underlying earth science data sets.

Real-Time Water Data

This site provides access to streamflow data for USGS (United States Geological Survey) streamflow monitoring sites around the United States. The data can be searched using an interactive map or by state. Most stations report Station Number, Station Name, long-term median flow, present flow stage, present water temperature, and the date and time of the last entry. Most stations also have stream flow statistics for the period of record including the latest flow, minimum flow, maximum flow, mean flow, and exceedance probabilities. Many stations also have links to the station description, annual peak streamflow data, and other historical data.

This Dynamic Earth: the Story of Plate Tectonics

This publication provides an introduction to the theory of plate tectonics. It was intended as a companion to the map entitled 'This Dynamic Planet', published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Smithsonian Institution. Topics include the history and development of the theory, lines of evidence, plate motions and interactions, hotspots, what drives plate motion, and extraterrestrial plate tectonics. It can be viewed online, downloaded, or purchased in hardcopy. Ordering information is provided.

Exploring Our Dynamic Planet: Jules Verne Voyager, Jr.

Exploring Our Dynamic Planet consists of interactive tools, curriculum, and background materials that enable students to better visualize geophysical and geological processes and structures. A classroom module explores plate tectonics using geodesy results from GPS to observe and measure crustal motion. Tools include Jules Verne Voyager, Jr., which allows students to choose from a variety of base maps, add a number of geographic and geophysical overlays (e.g. plate boundaries, earthquake and volcano locations), and then superimpose crustal motion velocity vectors to observe how the tectonic plates move in relation to one another. The tool can be used to explore topics such as plate tectonics, seafloor spreading, and seasonal land and ocean productivity.

The PLATES Project

This is the web page for PLATES, a program of research into plate tectonic and geologic reconstructions at the University of Texas at Austin Institute for Geophysics. The page contains links to a brief overview of plate tectonics and plate reconstructions using the PLATES Project's global plate reconstruction model, in addition to movies in the format of powerpoint animations which can be downloaded for later use. Models are shown on the evolution of the earth's oceans and the movement of the earth's tectonic plates from the Late Precambrian through the present day, reconstructing (i.e. "predicting") geological environments through geologic history. Maps of the following can be accessed: late Neo-Proterozoic, Silurian, early Jurassic, early Cretaceous, Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary, and Oligocene. Movies are available on the following subjects: global plate motion, Jurassic to present day, opening of the Indian Ocean, and tectonic evolution of the Arctic region.

Our Dynamic Planet

This CD-ROM consists of tools for investigations of the theory of plate tectonics. Modules include virtual plate tectonics lecture (30 minute animated plate tectonics video), geography game, profile game, MAP data display, and graphics workshop. Data are accessible through a point and click interface with extensive online help. Data includes elevations, seafloor and island ages, earthquakes, volcanoes, oceanic heat flow, volcano and landform images and movies. Detailed DEM data and images are available for selected mid ocean ridge study areas. A companion teacher's manual discusses elements of a science investigation, how to write a science paper, how to use the software, and gives examples of investigations that can be performed. The CD-ROM can be ordered from this website.

Climate Monitoring and Diagnostic Laboratory: Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Climate Monitoring and Diagnostic Laboratory Carbon Cycle Greenhouse Gases group makes ongoing discrete measurements from land and sea surface sites and aircraft, and continuous measurements from baseline observatories and tall towers. These measurements document the spatial and temporal distributions of carbon-cycle gases and provide essential constraints to our understanding of the global carbon cycle. This website is an interactive atmospheric data visualization tool. This tool enables users to view data, obtain details about sampling locations, manipulate and compare data sets and create custom graphs. Data includes information on a variety of gases, and can be viewed as seasonal patterns, time series, or latitudinal distribution.

The Magma Foundry

The Magma Foundry is dedicated to improving Earth science education at all grade levels. It designs, creates and disseminates modular, stand-alone media that can be used to construct interactive, engaging and exciting Earth science educational experiences. Instructors can use these components to enhance or expand their courses. This site features a variety of learning resources in physical geology, earth resources, and geologic hazards that may be browsed by media type, web technology type, or pedagogical tool. Media types include animations, interactive maps and graphs, movies, simulations, photographs and more. Web technologies are JPG and GIF images, Quick Time movies, Adobe Acrobat documents, and others. Pedagogical tools consist of lecture activities that can be done in class. Each online activity includes a worksheet that students complete during class and a series of Web pages used to guide students through the activity. Short quizzes will also be available soon, and other new materials are being developed continuously.

SAGUARO: Science and GIS Unlocking Analysis and Research Opportunities

The SAGUARO project CD-ROM features three learning modules that use GIS to learn about earth system science. The three modules - Exploring Tropical Cyclones, Exploring the Dynamic Earth, and Exploring Water Resources - use GIS to help students identify physical and spatial relationships and construct multiple representations of data as maps, tables, charts, and graphic layouts. The modules use a multimedia approach, incorporating animations, video, audio, and digital stills. Using GIS allows for data manipulation, exploration, and an inquiry-based approach to learning. Computer skills are not necessary because the modules are presented in a format that focuses on the concepts of earth science rather than on learning GIS skills. Each module is accompanied by an extensive list of supporting resources including books and links to relevant websites. The modules are available for individual purchase from the site and each comes with licensed GIS software.



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