Global Ups & Downs: Changing Sea Level (6-12)
Lesson 5: Impacts of Topography on Sea Level Change

Impacts of Topography on Sea Level Change

This lesson is comprised of three activities. Students use web-based animations to explore the impacts of ice melt, specifically changes to sea level. Students are introduced to topographic maps. Students examine the relationship between topography and sea level change by mapping changing shorelines.

Concepts and learning outcomes

Students will understand that:

  • Fluctuations in sea level change the shape of shorelines.
  • Changes in sea level affect habitats and the flora and fauna they support.
  • Changes in sea level impacts humans.


Time requirements


Three 50-minute classes


Vocabulary


topography, topographic map, elevation, contour line, contour interval


Activities


1. Exploring the Impact of Ice Melt on Shorelines: Students use web-based animations to explore the impacts of ice melt on sea level.
2. Introduction to Topographic Maps: Students are introduced to topographic maps through a hands-on experiment.
3. Mapping Shorelines: Students examine the relationship between topography and sea level change by mapping potential changing shorelines of Washington, D.C.


Resources used


Sea Level animation
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-866

Mapping Ancient Coastlings
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-869

TopoZone
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-000-103

Melting Himalayan Glaciers May Doom Towns
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-870

Sea Level animation
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-866

Topographic Salad-Tray Model
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-867

Mapping Potato Island
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-867

Modeled Climate-Induced Glacier Change in Glacier National Park, 1850-2100
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-871

TRINIDAD'S RISING SEAS: Effects of Global Warming
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-872

Warming to Cause Catastrophic Rise in Sea Level?
http://www.teachingboxes.org/catalog.jsp?id=DLESE-000-000-008-873