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Fill a long baking pan with water, place it on a flat surface, then wait until the water surface is calm. Without touching the pan, put your mouth at water level and blow gently over the surface using only a single long breath. Observe any movement in the water. Repeat several times.
Next, experiment with various types of blowing (e.g., very strong puffs at regular intervals) to see what happens.
observations to the effects of various winds upon the surface of the ocean.
Set up an
electric fan so that it blows across a long, wide container of water.
If some sawdust or pepper is sprinkled on the water, you will be able
to see more easily that the water moves in a large, circulating path.
In a similar way, wind tends to drive water ahead of it until a continuous
current is generated. Such prevailing winds are the most
You might be interested in researching wind and ocean currents in an encyclopedia or other reference source.
Ocean waves behave similarly -- those that rise and sink and become regular are called swells; those that approach the shore, form a steep front, and break are called surf or breakers.
Now float a cork on the water surface. When the surface is calm, try to move the cork by making waves but without blowing directly on the cork.
After several tries, you will find that you cannot move the cork, even though you can create waves in the water. (Only the form of the waves moves forward, and the cork does not move with the wave.) Some of us think this is real trippy.
While your fan or hair dryer is blowing across the surface of your ocean-in-a-dish, note the spacing and the height of the waves produced. Experiment by varying the depth of the water and the speed of the fan. From your tests, you will better realize that ocean waves are caused by wind in a similar way.
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