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SAVY 2019: Session 5, Day 2 – Dynamic Coasts (Rising 5th/6th)

Posted by on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 in Grade 5, Grade 6, SAVY.

Today, we dove deeper into the processes that influence coasts and drive coastal change…literally and figuratively! We learned about isostasy and how the lithosphere (crust and upper mantle) floats on the asthenosphere (below the lithosphere; upper mantle) and responds to changes in loading and unloading. We linked this idea to the ideas of subsidence and accommodation. We used a laboratory experiment, adapted from college-level material taught here at Vanderbilt, to more fully understand isostasy. Then, we learned about places where subsidence is occurring at high rates and ecosystems, people, and cities are at risk. We even read a scientific paper about subsidence in New Orleans. This activity helped students apply what they learned in lab and think about all of the different factors that geoscientists, coastal engineers, and planners must consider. 

If you child is looking to continue exploring how climate change is affecting the earth and coasts, this NASA website ( has learning modules and games related to changes in temperature, sea level, sea ice, and the atmosphere. 

Jess and Elaine

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