Calculating sea level changes
In this lab activity, students learn about the relationships between sea level and glaciers during glacial and interglacial periods. First the students need to calculate the maximum sea level rise assuming all water stored in glaciers and ice caps will melt. Then, they are asked to calculate the ice sheet distribution during the last glacial maxima based on the information that sea level dropped by 125 m.
- Concepts: Sea level (past, present and future) is strongly related to amount of water stored in ice caps and glaciers.
- Higher order thinking: Ice caps distribution depends on the geographic distribution of the continents.
- The activity address two end member conditions, sea level drop by 125 m and sea level rise due to complete melt of the ice caps and glaciers. There is no scenario of current condition with limited ice melt.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
Solution for the SLR calculation change (Acrobat (PDF) 953kB Apr11 14)