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Wave tank modelling

Activity idea

In this activity, students use a shallow tray of water to demonstrate wave generation and behaviour.

By the end of this activity, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate how surf and tsunami waves originate
  • demonstrate how surf and tsunami waves interact with the ocean floor
  • demonstrate how wave height (amplitude) is increased due to shoaling.

Download the Word file (see link above) for:

  • introduction/background notes
  • what you need
  • what to do
  • discussion questions.

Models are a way of visualising something we cannot safely or directly observe. The wave tank model helps us to represent surf and tsunami waves, but not with complete accuracy.


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