Storm Surge Experiment

Most of the damage from Hurricane Katrina came from the storm surge. Let’s take a closer look on how this works.

  1. Paper Plate (waterproof)
  2. Modeling Clay
  3. Sugar Cubes or Monopoly style houses
  4. Sand and/or rocks
  5. Water
  6. Hair Dryer
  1. Using the modeling clay, make a coastline along one side of the plate. Remember to make the coastline have elevation changes, inlets, and bays. Add islands too.
  2. Put the sugar cube “houses” (or Monopoly houses) along the coastline.
  3. Pour some water into the plate around the clay.
  4. Use your mouth or the hair dryer to blow the water toward the coastline.

The water had nowhere to go and moved onto the “land.”

  1. Did you see the water pile up?
  2. Did any of the sugar cube houses become damaged?

Add some rocks and sands to the coastline and try the experiment again. Did you notice any changes?