The water in the ocean is constantly moving thanks to two different types of currents – surface and deep.
Surface currents are due to the winds that affect the given area and usually affect the top of the ocean. These currents generally push water towards land and are responsible for the waves we see on the beach.
Deep currents are due to the sinking action of cold water that comes from the poles, which then drifts to the equator, warms up, and rises to the surface again and drifts towards the poles where it cools off, creating a cycle of rising and sinking water throughout the ocean. Deep water currents are also affected by the salinity, or how salty, of the water.
In this science demonstration, your kids will see the effects of deepwater convection currents. Let's begin!
You will need the following:
Here are the steps to follow to simulate deep water currents in a glass:
You should see that the warm colored water rose to the top as it mixed with the cold water. You see that the cold colored water sank to the bottom as it mixed with the warm water.
The currents you are observing here are convection currents, which are found in the deep waters of the ocean. Cold water sinks and hot water rises creating movement, or currents, in the ocean.
Looking for some easy-to-use science plans that will teach your students about the oceans? Here is what we offer:
You can also see more activities to learn about the ocean at our Beach Science Pinterest board:
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