Sea Level arrow Tide Model arrow Help

Click below to start the video tutorial. A text transcript is also available.

This video will introduce a simple, interactive model to help you understand factors that affect tides and sea level. You can use the model to visualize changes in tide height, the effects of storms, and the potential impact of a long-term change in sea level. The effects of these changes on the model are displayed in two ways – as a graph of water level and as an animated picture of a coastline.

Let's look at how it works. When you first run the model, it shows a typical cycle of high and low tides. Notice that the maximum tide height change is set at two meters. This represents the difference between the highest high and lowest low tides. The actual height of the tide varies over time depending on the moon phase, and you can see this effect in the graph.

Now let's see what happens when we make a change. Use the arrows to increase or decrease the maximum tide height change. Look what happens when you increase the value.

Now let's imagine a storm hitting the area. You can simulate a storm surge by setting a value for its height and duration. When you are ready, click the checkbox to activate the storm.

Did you see water level in the graph change? Try it again and watch the impact on the coastline.

Finally, let's simulate a possible long-term change in sea level. What might happen if sea level rises by a fraction of a meter. Try it and find out. Notice what happens to both the high and low tide levels as a result of a long term change.

You can use this model to experiment with different kinds of tide and sea level changes. As you try different values, you can also increase the speed of the animation so that you can see changes play out faster.