Modeling the oceanic thermohaline circulation with STELLA

In this activity for undergraduate students, learners build a highly simplified computer model of thermohaline circulation (THC) in the North Atlantic Ocean and conduct a set of simulation experiments to understand the complex dynamics inherent in this simple model.

Go To:

Dave Bice
Penn State University
On the Cutting Edge collection, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College
Activity takes about 2-3 hours. STELLA software licenses are required.

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

The model is built in STELLA. It is available in a free trial version from

All required data is provided in the model recipe and experiment descriptions.

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