NetLogo banner

 Home
 Download
 Help
 Resources
 Extensions
 FAQ
 References
 Contact Us
 Donate

 Models:
 Library
 Community
 Modeling Commons

 User Manuals:
 Web
 Printable
 Chinese
 Czech
 Japanese

  Donate

NetLogo User Community Models

(back to the NetLogo User Community Models)

Watercycle

by Edmund Hazzard (Submitted: 09/08/2008)

[screen shot]

Download Watercycle
If clicking does not initiate a download, try right clicking or control clicking and choosing "Save" or "Download".

(You can also run this model in your browser, but we don't recommend it; details here.)

WHAT IS IT?

This model of the water cycle was developed for grades 3-6. It shows the major paths that water takes when traveling around the earth.

This model is used by the Concord Consortium in the UDL (Universal Design for Learning) project. To see the model in the context of an activity, go to http://udl.concord.org. Find the Intermediate Clouds Unit (Grades 56) and go to the activity called "Water cycle model".

HOW IT WORKS

Five areas of the earth's surface are represented by different colors: ocean, forest, lake, earth, and ice. Water molecules are represented by small circles. There is a fixed number of water molecules in the model.

Water (blue) can evaporate (move upward) from the ocean and the lake. When it reaches a certain height, the water changes to cloud droplets (white). The "wind" pushes it to the left or the right.

The droplets can turn into rain (gray), which falls straight down. If it lands on white, it turns to ice. If it lands on land or forest, it migrates to the right as groundwater (gray) until it reaches a body of water.

The sliders control wind speed and the temperatures of various areas -- ocean, lake, ice, and cloud.
- Greater temperature in the ocean or lake increases the chance that a given water molecule will evaporate.
- Lower temperature in the cloud increases the chance that a cloud water droplet will form rain.
- Greater temperature on the mountain increases the chance that an ice molecule will change to groundwater (i.e. melt) and flow to the lake or ocean.

HOW TO USE IT

Run the model and watch what the water molecules do and where they go.

You can watch a single water molecule with the "watch one water" button.

THINGS TO TRY

Try each of the sliders, starting with wind-speed, and see what effect they have on the water cycle.

Try to accumulate a lot of snow.

Try to get rid of the snow. (There will always be one white layer left.)

Try to make it rain more a lot over the mountain, or over the ocean.

Try to imitate a dry season vs. a monsoon season.

EXTENDING THE MODEL

Add a cyclical feature to wind-speed, to imitate day-night conditions or dry/monsoon season.

Add a desert.

Make a graph of rainfall or snowfall.

Have the lake level rise or fall according to how much water evaporates of returns to the lake.

Include rules for transpiration from the forest.

Add rules that make plants grow or die according to how much rain they have.

Change the level of the lake according to the amount of rain, evaporation, and runoff.

NETLOGO FEATURES

The background image "cl_56_nl_background2.png" was created especially for this model. It won't look right if the graphics window size is changed! The lower half of the image is transparent so that the patches are visible.

CREDITS AND REFERENCES

This model was written by Edmund Hazzard as part of the Universal Design for Learning Project (UDL) at the Concord Consortium (http://www.concord.org) in March of 2008. The image was also produced by the Concord Consortium.

(back to the NetLogo User Community Models)