Modeling Storm Effects on Barrier Islands

Ask questions about projects relating to: biology, biochemistry, genomics, microbiology, molecular biology, pharmacology/toxicology, zoology, human behavior, archeology, anthropology, political science, sociology, geology, environmental science, oceanography, seismology, weather, or atmosphere.

Moderators: MelissaB, kgudger, Ray Trent, Moderators

Modeling Storm Effects on Barrier Islands

Postby arigenius » Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:43 pm

Hi, I have been doing some research on barrier islands and how they protect the mainland during surges.

I wanted to use a stream table and make different types of artificial barrier islands, and obtain some sort of wave generator. I was thinking that I could replicate storm waves and see how they impact the barrier islands made from different materials.

Would the modeling be effective on this scale? Is it feasible for a project of this small size?
If not, are there any other ideas I could try with barrier islands?

Thanks!!
arigenius
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:10 pm
Occupation: Student: 12th grade
Project Question: I am trying to test the effects of phytoremediation on copper concentrations.
Project Due Date: Late February/early March
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Modeling Storm Effects on Barrier Islands

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:58 am

Hi,

Welcome to Science Buddies! You have a really great idea for a science project and your idea of using modeling would be a very good way to investigate your topic.

Here are two project ideas from the Science Buddies website that you might be able to adapt for your project idea. The first one uses sand in a paint roller pan and the second uses a downspout extender.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p011.shtml

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... #procedure

You will need to identify a way to quantitatively measure your results.

Here is another idea. Here is a website that offers a free program for determining wave height based on wind speed, fetch, and duration. Perhaps you could use this website to determine what size waves would be generated based on historical weather records for the site you are studying.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/savageseas/mult ... chine.html

And, here's another possibility. Here is an on-line project that uses date from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Perhaps you could use this data and compare the energy generated by waves at the site with the barrier islands and a similar site that does not have barrier islands.

http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-f ... p031.shtml

I hope this helps you select an experimental method for your project. Remember for a science project, you just need one experiment that will give you reproducible and quantitative results. Please post again in this topic if you have more questions.


Donna Hardy
donnahardy2
Expert
 
Posts: 2230
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:45 pm

Re: Modeling Storm Effects on Barrier Islands

Postby arigenius » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:25 pm

Thank you for all your help!

I was wondering if there is a way to control the force of the waves I produce...Should I just hook up a hose to one end of the stream table and let it run?
arigenius
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 4:10 pm
Occupation: Student: 12th grade
Project Question: I am trying to test the effects of phytoremediation on copper concentrations.
Project Due Date: Late February/early March
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Modeling Storm Effects on Barrier Islands

Postby donnahardy2 » Sun Jan 27, 2013 7:21 pm

Hi,

What you want to do is to create a wave pool. Here's a website with photographs that explains how waves are made by disturbing the water with a strong blast of air and other techniques. Read through this and see if you can adapt this idea to your project.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2007 ... _waves.htm

Donna Hardy
donnahardy2
Expert
 
Posts: 2230
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2005 12:45 pm

Re: Modeling Storm Effects on Barrier Islands

Postby Craig_Bridge » Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:01 am

Scale models are an excellent starting point. One simple way to do this kind of testing is with a long tank on a pivot so it acts like a seesaw. Typically the area under test is centered on the pivot. You will have to attach something to the bottom of the tank to model any coral or bedrock to keep it from sloshing back and forth in the tank. You can control the wave height by how much you tip the tank and how much water you put in the tank. If you want to model the slope of the floor of the ocean, you will have to build a base in the bottom of the tank to be the base. This kind of a model has an inherit inaccuracy because you are tipping the modeled land mass and changing the gravitatonal effects on the land mass. The more you tip the tank, the more this inaccuracy affects your result, so try and come up with a long enough tank and a scale where your highest wave is less than 10 degrees of tank tip.
-Craig
Craig_Bridge
Expert
 
Posts: 1297
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:47 am


Return to Grades 9-12: Life, Earth, and Social Sciences

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests