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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Detecting El Niño in Sea Surface Temperature Data
Note: This chapter was retired in October 2018. The visualization tool (My World GIS) is no longer supported. SST anomalies for December 1997 displayed in My World GIS™. Red indicates above average temperatures compared to average SST temperatures for December data averaged over the years 1982-1998. This chapter introduces you to normal seasonal sea surface temperature (SST) variation as well as extreme variation, as in the case of El Niño and La Niña events, in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. You will learn how to download seasonal SST data from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL), via a THREDDS server, for the years 1982 to 1998. With My World GIS, you will visualize and analyze that data, looking for the tell-tale SST signature of El Niño and La Niña events that occurred during that time period. At the conclusion of the chapter, you will be given the opportunity to analyze a season of your own choosing to determine if an El Niño and La Niña SST pattern emerged in that year's data.

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Using Audio to Visualize Scientific Concepts
To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video 85 million years of Earth's magnetic reversals 1 million year of Earth time is 1 second of audio ...

Engebretson Collection of Geoscience Audio Visualizations
Geophysicist Dave Engebretson of Western Washington University has developed a collection of audio visualizations of geoscience data for use in the classroom. Below are a few examples from the collection. For ...

Globe Watersheds Module 1: Water Availability

The GLOBE Watershed Dynamics Module 1 GIS tool is a freely available web-based GIS. This tool allows users to analyze precipitation, evaporation, and surface runoff data across the US. Curriculum is available for this project upon request at this time (March, 2010), but will be available through Northwestern University Office of STEM Education Partnerships and through the GLOBE Program Office in the future. Contact Colleen Buzby for more information. c-buzby AT Originally available from

Tsunami Propagation Visualization

This visualization of the Tsunami generated by the 2010 Chile earthquake shows the spread of the tsunami waves across the pacific. The animation was computed with the MOST tsunami model. Across the bottom of the visualization is a comparison of the MOST predictions to actual data collected by a sensor buoy (denoted by the solid yellow square on the map).

Preliminary forecast model energy map - 2010 Chile event

This image show preliminary calculations for wave height resulting from the February 2010 tsunami generated by the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck just offshore of Maule, Chile on February 27, 2010.

NASA Imagery of Haiti

This page includes a collection of NASA images surrounding the Haiti Earthquake. Images include landslide risk maps, photos from the Terra Spacecraft, post-earthquake Port au Prince, Hispaniola topography map, anaglyph (3-D) map of southern Haiti, and 3-D topography of Port au Prince.

Teachable Moments: Haiti Earthquake

This page from IRIS includes links to resources about the geology of the January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake. Included are animation/visualization links, USGS resources, and others.

Caribbean plate tectonics

This illustration available at Wikimedia Commons shows the plate tectonic setting in the Caribbean. Plate boundaries are color-coded by margin type and plate motions are noted with direction and magnitude in mm/yr.

Port au Prince, Haiti: Google Maps

This Google Maps view is centered on the island of Hispanola, which is shared by the countries of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. The Capital of Haiti, Port au Prince, is flagged.

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