Teach the Earth > Oceanography > Visualizations

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 33 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

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, Economic Geology, Geoscience:Lunar and Planetary Science, Paleontology, Hydrology, Oceanography, Geology:Tectonics, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science, Environmental Science
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Activities:Classroom Activity, Lab Activity, Video Assignment, Audio/Visual:Animations/Video

Brinicle / Icy Finger of Death- Frozen Planet
Time-lapse footage of salt water being excluded from the sea ice and sinking & freezing

Subject: Oceanography: Geoscience:Geology:Geochemistry:Phase Equilibria/Thermodynamics, Geoscience:Oceanography:Chemical
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Animations/Video

Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
NOAA Time-lapse animation showing rising CO2 levels over time

Subject: Oceanography: Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change:Paleoclimate records, Geoscience:Oceanography:Ocean-Climate Interactions, Environmental Science:Global Change and Climate:Climate Change, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Paleoclimate records
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Animations/Video

Japan Earthquake: Helicopter aerial view video of giant tsunami waves
This video is of the tsunami in Japan in 2011.

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

Oil Spills
Oil spills cause enormous amounts of damage to ocean and coastal ecosystems and the human populations that depend on them for subsistence, employment, and commerce. These resources speak to the effects of oil spills and aid educators in teaching about these catastrophic events.

Subject: Oceanography: Environmental Science:Oceans and Coastal Resources, Geoscience:Oceanography:Marine Resources
Resource Type: Audio/Visual: Audio/Visual:Collections

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