Constructing a 3D bathymetry model
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered:
2) Familiarity with typical methods and instruments used to measure sea floor bathymetry, such as soundings, echo soundings, side-scanning sonar and multibeam sonar.
How the activity is situated in the course:
National or State Education Standards addressed by this activity?:
Content/concepts goals for this activity:
2) Sea floor features (in coastal zones as well as deep-ocean basins)
3) Practices and challenges of observationally mapping the sea floor
4) The ocean is largely unexplored (ocean literacy concept #7)
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity:
2) Experiment design, including sampling frequency and accuracy. The effect of the design on the outcome (in this case the contour map)
3) Quantitative reasoning
Other skills goals for this activity:
2) Project management, distribution and rotation of labor.
3) Manual graphing (eg. without a computer graphing program)
Description of the activity/assignment
In the second lab session, each team of students is provided with a box from an unknown team. The box is closed, and they do not know what ocean feature lay inside. They use bamboo skewers to take "soundings" at each of the drilled holes in the box lid, and mark their measurements on a piece of graph paper. Then they construct a contour map from the soundings, and try to identify the sea floor feature in the box from a global seafloor topography map that is hanging on a wall.
Students complete guided questions about the process of constructing their 3D scaled model and exploring the unknown ocean.
Determining whether students have met the goals
2) Groups of students hand in their soundings, contour map, and interpretation to demonstrate manual graphing proficiency
3) Students answer guided questions to help them interpret this activity as a metaphor for ocean exploration. (so they don't think they just did a lab about cutting cardboard!)
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment:Bathymetry Boxes Lab Activity (Acrobat (PDF) 87kB May3 16)
- Instructors Notes:Bathymetry_Boxes_Instructor_Notes (Acrobat (PDF) 46kB May3 16)
- Solution Set:
- Bathymetry_boxes_Lab Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 122kB May3 16)