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Visualizations for Teaching About the Ocean System

This collection of visualizations includes photos, animations, videos, maps and interactive imagery that can be integrated into lectures or classes. The collection is part of an extensive collection created for the Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations workshop.


If you have a visualization that would be helpful for teaching undergraduate oceanography, please contribute to our continually expanding collections.

  • Bathymetry - Images and animations that show sea floor topography.
  • Coastal Wave Mechanics - Animations and movies depicting how waves and water molecules behave along the shore and in deep water settings.
  • Coral Reefs and Atolls - Images and photographs that show the living organism of a coral reef and its marine inhabitants.
  • Deltas and Sediment Plumes (in Geomorphology) - Images and animations that illustrate both modern and ancient delta systems. Photos and 3D animations depict the development of deltas on both the temporal and spatial scales.
  • Earth Science Image Archives (in Teaching Geoscience with Visualizations) - Contemporary and historic photographs, data-derived and satellite image collections from agencies such as USGS, AGI, NASA, etc. Collections include oceanography-related images and also span the range of earth science topics.
  • El Nino/La Nina - Animations, models, and images related to how El Nino affects sea surface temperature, sea surface level, thermocline depth, weather and more.
  • Hurricanes (in Hazards) - visualizations of the 2005 hurricane season, various record breaking storms, and models of hurricane structure.
  • Longshore Drift and Depositional Landforms (in Geomorphology) - Animations and images showing a variety of depositional landforms resulting from longshore drift and the impact of river and coastal engineering projects on sediment transport processes.
  • Ocean Chemistry and Productivity Visualizations - Visualizations about phytoplankton plankton blooms, nutrient circulation, carbon cycling, chlorophyll concentrations and other ocean productivity topics.
  • Ocean Circulation and Upwellings - images and animations about ocean surface currents, upwellings and circulation models.
  • Ocean Surface Currents - images and animations about the dynamics, causes and effects of ocean surface currents.
  • Oil Spills (in Hazards) - Visualizations, activities, and references that speak to the effects of oil spills and aid educators in teaching about these catastrophic events.
  • Rocky Coastlines and Erosional Landforms (in Geomorphology) - Animations and images related to erosional landforms such as cliffs, arches, sea stacks and other morphological features.
  • Sea Surface Temperature - images and animations about sea surface temperature, including global maps, real-time and observed data, and temperature anomalies related to climate change.
  • Sedimentation Models (in Sedimentary Geology) - Animations, videos, photos and images representing conceptual models, output from computer simulations, and physical experimental models of clastic and carbonate sedimentation and stratigraphy.
  • Sequence Stratigraphy (in Sedimentary Geology) - Images, animations and videos about the processes and products of sequence stratigraphy.
  • Tidal Visualizations - Photos, animations, maps and videos that help teach about tides, their distribution in space and time, their role in sedimentary processes, and their use as an energy source.
  • Tsunami Visualizations (in Hazards) - Animations and photos of recent and historic tsunami episodes.
  • Turbidite Visualizations (in Sedimentary Geology) - Photos, videos and images of sediment transport models and events.

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Results 1 - 10 of 37 matches

Comparison of Two Hurricanes
David Kobilka, Central Lakes College-Brainerd
In this activity students synthesize ideas from lecture, reading, and viewing two PBS NOVA videos on hurricanes.

Subject: Oceanography: Geoscience:Oceanography, Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Geoscience, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Activities, Audio/Visual:Animations/Video

Air-sea Interactions: Activities in Oceanography
Steve LaDochy, California State University-Los Angeles
This online set of activities help students learn properties of ocean waves, wind-wave relationships and properties of tsunamis.

Subject: Oceanography: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climatology , Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards:Tsunami, Geoscience:Oceanography:Physical , Marine Hazards
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Animations/Video, Assessments, Audio/Visual:Images/Illustrations, Activities:Classroom Activity, Lab Activity

The 2004 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami
Steve Kluge
In this multi-part activity, students study seismograms from different seismic stations recording the Sumatra earthquake of December 26th, 2004 and then determine the epicenter of the quake and track the tsunami it ...

Subject: Oceanography: Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Geoscience:Geology, Oceanography, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Coastal Hazards:Tsunami
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Activities:Lab Activity, Audio/Visual:Maps

Contour Basics: JAVA Mac/PC
Steve Ackerman and Tom Whittaker, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center. Starting Point page organized by R.M. MacKay.
A great on-line resource for introducing students to contour plots.

Subject: Oceanography: Geography:Physical, Geoscience:Geology, Oceanography, Atmospheric Science
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Maps, Activities:Classroom Activity, Lab Activity

Wind Surge: Interactive On-line Mac and PC
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Wind surge is a JAVA based applet for exploring how water level on the windward and leeward side of a basin depends on wind speed, basin length, water depth, and boundary type. -

Subject: Oceanography: Geoscience:Oceanography:Physical , Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Meteorology:Extreme weather, Winds, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Extreme Weather:Hurricanes
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Images/Illustrations, Activities:Lab Activity

Alaska Plate Tectonics & Geohazards Presentation
ANGLE Project
This lecture and associated animations give a basic introduction to plate tectonics and associated earthquakes and volcanoes, using Alaska as the case study site. A similar lecture featuring the USA's Pacific Northwest region is available from the Cascadia EarthScope Earthquake and Tsunami Education Program (CEETEP)

Subject: Oceanography: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards:Tsunami, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Volcanism, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Animations/Video, Lecture

Field Trip Guide: The 1964 Great Alaska Earthquake and Tsunami--Consequences of Living on the Leading Edge in Alaska
Robert Witter (ANGLE Project)
This is a guide to a field trip that visits sites in Anchorage, Girdwood, and Whittier Alaska. The focus of the trip is the understand the science and societal impacts of the 1964 Alaska Mag 9.2 earthquake as well as the ongoing EarthScope research on geohazards to help us better plan for future events. Participants practice a tsunami evacuation walk as way to foster discussion of preparedness actions and challenges.

Subject: Oceanography: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Mass Wasting, Coastal Hazards:Tsunami, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Engineering, Geoscience
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Images/Illustrations, Maps, Lecture

Tsunami Basics Presentation
Robert Butler (ANGLE Project)
Description This lecture and associated animations give a good introduction to tsunami produced by earthquakes and landslides. It includes information on how they are generated and why there can be great ...

Subject: Oceanography: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes, Mass Wasting, Geoscience, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards:Tsunami
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Lecture, Audio/Visual:Animations/Video

Alaska Earthquakes & Tsunami Presentation
Robert Butler (ANGLE Project)
This lecture and associated animations delve in more deeply to the topic of Alaskan earthquakes and tsunami along with their causes and variability. It also draws on EarthScope GPS and seismic data to show how we can study earth processes to better understand Alaskan geohazards. It highlights case study sites of Whittier and Seward during the 1964 Alaska Mag 9.2 earthquake to show how differences in location, topography, and land use can lead to different tsunami experiences in different communities. give a good introduction to tsunami produced by earthquakes and landslides. It includes information on how they are generated and why there can be great variability between tsunami characteristics--even for earthquakes of similar size. The lecture describes tsunami generated by the in particular depth.

Subject: Oceanography: Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Mass Wasting, Earthquakes, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Natural Hazards:Coastal Hazards:Tsunami, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Seismology, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Geodesy, Geoscience
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Animations/Video, Lecture

Teaching Geoscience with Video Snips
Scott Brande, University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
Video snips are short video segments of live footage of geologic processes (settling sand, cleaving minerals, or landslides) used to engage students, foster discussion, and stimulate higher order thinking skills. ...

Subject: Oceanography: Geoscience:Geology:Structural Geology, Sedimentary Geology, Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Historical Geology, Geophysics, Geomorphology, Tectonics, Geoscience:Paleontology, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Lunar and Planetary Science, Hydrology, Oceanography, Atmospheric Science, Geology:Economic Geology
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Activities:Video Assignment, Audio/Visual:Animations/Video, Activities:Lab Activity, Classroom Activity

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