Deep-sea Canyons


These selected lessons were developed by scientists and educators to demonstrate key concepts related to deep-sea canyons. For more lessons, search the full lesson archive.

Older lessons are aligned to the National Science Education Standards and newer lessons support the Next Generation Science Standards  (and their associated Common Core Standards). All lessons from 2006 to the present also support the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts . Note: The links provided in lessons are verified at the time of publication, but over time, may change or become obsolete.

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5-6 5-8 7-9 9-12

Grades 5-6

Wet Maps (pdf, 1.6 MB)

Focus: Bathymetric mapping (Physical Science/Earth Science)

Students will explain how multibeam sonar is an example of advances in engineering that have extended the measurement, exploration, modeling, and computational capacity of scientific investigations. Students will analyze data from a simulated multibeam sonar system to create a three-dimensional map that shows ocean floor ridges and trenches and explain how tectonic processes produce these features.

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Mapas Ma-medos (pdf, 945 KB)

Foco: Levantamiento batimétrico (Ciencias físicas/Ciencias de la tierra)

Los estudiantes explicarán cómo el sonar multihaz es un ejemplo de los avances en la ingeniería que han ampliado la medición, la exploración, el modelado y la capacidad computacional de las investigaciones científicas.

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Grades 5-8

Mapping Deep-Sea Habitats (pdf, 271 KB)

Focus: Bathymetric mapping of deep-sea habitats (Earth Science)

Students will be able to create a two-dimensional topographic map given bathymetric survey data, create a three-dimensional model of landforms from a two-dimensional topographic map, and interpret two- and three-dimensional topographic data. (See Hudson Canyon data on last three pages.)

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Grades 7-9

An Underwater Sediment Slide? (pdf, 263 KB)

Focus: Sediment transport in an underwater canyon

Students will learn about the proximity of the Hudson Shelf Valley and the Hudson Canyon to one of the nation's most populated areas; that from 1987 to 1992, two dumpsites in the Hudson Shelf Valley and Hudson Canyon, one 12 miles out to sea and one 106 miles out to sea, were used to dispose of sewage; and that canyons transport contaminants from nearshore areas to the deep sea.

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Grades 9-12

Mapping the Canyon (pdf, 540 KB)

Focus: Bathymetry of Hudson Canyon

Students will be able to compare and contrast a topographic map to a bathymetric map, investigate the various ways in which bathymetric maps are made, and learn how to interpret a bathymetric map.

Read more (See page 23 in this document)

Multitalented Underwater Robot (pdf, 736 KB)

Focus: Autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) Sentry (Engineering Design)

Students will understand how engineers approach complex real-world problems by breaking them down into smaller, more manageable problems. In this lesson, students will investigate how complex Sentry missions are planned.

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The above items are only a selection of the educational materials highlighting deep-sea canyons on our website.

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