Exploring sea level change in Google Earth

Elana Leithold, North Carolina State University at Raleigh
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Initial Publication Date: June 12, 2014 | Reviewed: June 24, 2014


This is a short activity that uses Google Earth to explore sea-level change as measured by tidal gauges around the world

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This activity could be appropriate for introductory geology, sedimentology/stratigraphy, or marine geology classes

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have been introduced to the concepts of local vs global sea level change and its causes.

How the activity is situated in the course

This can be used as part of a laboratory activity or as a homework exercise.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

The goal of this exercise is familiarize students with data on recent sea-level rise from multiple locations and to develop an understanding of its local vs global controls.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Students examine data in a Google Earth framework and develop hypotheses about the difference in observations at different locations.

Other skills goals for this activity

Students should have basic familiarity with Google Earth. The activity can be implemented in small groups.

Description and Teaching Materials

This is a computer based activity. The students will use Google Earth and will download a kml file on sea-level trends from the NOAA website.
Sea level trends in Google Earth (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 15kB Jun12 14)

Teaching Notes and Tips


References and Resources