Explore Teaching Examples | Provide Feedback

Wind Surge: Interactive On-line Mac and PC

Interactive learning environment created by Robert A. Dalrymple, Center for Applied Coastal Research,University of Delaware, Newark DE 19716, USA. Starting Point page organized by R.M. MacKay.
Author Profile

This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project


Wind surge (more info) 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. Theoretical discussion is provided.

Used this activity? Share your experiences and modifications

Learning Goals

Context for Use

This Applet can be useful when studying Hurricanes and storm surge in an introductory geoscience course.

Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips


Student problem: Assess the effect of varying the windspeed on the surge elevations for a given basin geometry. Do the same with the water depth and basin length for a fixed wind speed. Plot your results.

Student problem: Examine the influence of the end wall. Find a basin size and wind speed such that a given wall height is overtopped (note: if overtopping occurs, the word 'overtopping' is written next to the eta(l) value.) Then, increase the wall elevation until overtopping stops. Explain the difference in results.

Both of these student problems were suggested by Robert A. Dalrymple, Center for Applied Coastal Research,University of Delaware, Newark DE 19716,USA

References and Resources


Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Meteorology:Winds, Extreme weather, Geoscience:Oceanography:Physical , Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Extreme Weather:Hurricanes

Resource Type

Activities:Lab Activity, Audio/Visual:Images/Illustrations

Special Interest


Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Human Dimensions:Natural Hazards, Atmosphere:Weather, Atmosphere


Ocean:Physical Oceanography


Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Environmental Science, Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Oceanography, Atmospheric Science, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Hazards, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Weather