Deep Sea Mapping in Context


Type: Investigation

Theme: Ratios

Grades: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Learning Target: Students will compose a scale model of an oceanic geographic feature and compare it to a similar land feature.


This project is for pairs (individuals OKAleutian Trench vs. Grand Caynon) to be produced as an image, PDF, or PowerPoint.

  1. Choose an ocean geographical feature (either channel, trench, or a mountain). Find a comparable land feature (river, canyon, or mountain).
  2. Use Google Earth Pro to produce "elevation profiles." You will need to set path properties to "clamp to seafloor."
  3. Produce a top-view map of the channel and river at the same scale.
  4. Produce a cross-section for both locations at the same scale.
  5. Vertical and horizontal ratio is 1:1 (model height to width ratio should be equal).
  6. Units: kilometers. 
  7. Obtain and provide a Peer Review.
  8. Revise your work.


  1. Top/aerial/satellite views of both locations.
  2. Cross-sections should be overlays at the same scale vertically and horizontally.
  3. Answer the following questions (please cite your sources):
    1. What are the names of the two geographical or geologic features?
    2. What formed the two features?
    3. Do the erosional processes differ for the two structures?
    4. How did you scale your views to produce a 1:1 ratio?
  4. Peer Review.


Exit Ticket
CCSS Math Practice
  • I can make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  • I can use appropriate tools strategically.
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts
  • Scale, Proportion, and Quantity
  • Structure and Function


The Puerto Rico Trench vs. The Yarlung Zangbo River Grand Canyon