HandsOn 1 - "Walking" Along a Coastline

Figure 2.1: Measuring a coastline with caliper. The caliper often "steps across'' a peninsula or inlet.


Table 2.1: Measuring the length of a coastline.

1. Size of step, S 2. PREDICTED 3. MEASURED 4. "Length'' = N×S
  Number of Steps, N Number of Steps, N  

To investigate coastlines, start by "walking'' along the map of a coastline as shown in Figure 2.1.

You will need:

Q2.2: Did your prediction of the number of steps become more accurate with each new setting of the calipers?

Q2.3: What happens to the total length of the coastline for different step sizes?

Q2.4: What would you estimate the "final length'' of the coastline would converge to as the step size gets smaller and smaller?

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