2014 GSA Annual Meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia (19–22 October 2014)

Paper No. 244-6
Presentation Time: 2:45 PM

WEB-BASED INTERACTIVE LANDFORM SIMULATION MODEL - GRAND CANYON (WILSIM-GC)


LUO, Wei1, PELLETIER, Jon2, DUFFIN, Kirk3, ORMAND, Carol J.4, HUNG, Wei-chen5, IVERSON, Ellen6, SHERNOFF, David7, ZHAI, Xiaoming8 and WHALLEY, Kyle1, (1)Department of Geography, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, (2)Department of Geosciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, (3)Department of Computer Science, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, (4)Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057, (5)Department of Educational technology, research, and assessment, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL 60115, (6)Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, 1 North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057, (7)Center for Mathematics, Science, and Computer Education, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08854, (8)Earth Science, College of Lake County, 19351 West Washington St, Grayslake, IL 60030, wluo@niu.edu

The long geological time needed for landform development and evolution often makes it hard for students to appreciate the processes involved. The Web-based Interactive Landform Simulation Model – Grand Canyon (WILSIM-GC, http://serc.carleton.edu/landform/) is an educational tool that aims to help students better understand landform evolution processes from anywhere with an Internet connection. It is a continuation and upgrade of the simpler cellular automata (CA) rule-based model (WILSIM-CA, http://www.niu.edu/landform/). Major improvements in WILSIM-GC include adopting a physically based model that simulates bedrock channel erosion and cliff retreat and utilizing the latest Java technology (e.g., Java OpenGL, Trusted Applet, and multithreaded capability) that allows for fast computation and dynamic visualization. Students will be able to change the erodibility of the bed rock, contrast in erodibility between hard and soft rock layers, and cliff retreat rate. The impact and interaction of these changes on the landform evolution can be observed in animation from different viewing geometry. In addition, cross-sections and profiles at different time intervals can be saved for further quantitative analysis, such as computing channel incision rate, upstream knickpoint migration speed, etc., which we hope will enhance students’ understanding of the underlying processes. Classroom tests will be conducted in late summer and early fall. Initial assessment results from these tests will be presented. This project is funded NSF-TUES program and further information can be found at http://serc.carleton.edu/landform/index.html.