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What Causes Land and Sea Breezes?

Experiment #3 from Climate and Meteorology Experiments


Land and sea breezes are phenomena that are often found near large lakes and coastlines due to the uneven heating of the different surfaces (land vs. water) throughout the day. Winds are often named for the direction they blow from, so land breezes blow from the land to the water while sea breezes blow from the water to the land. A similar phenomenon also exists between mountains and valleys.

In Part I of this experiment, you will expose sand and water to a light source representing the Sun. You will monitor the temperature of the sand and the water and compare their warming behaviors. In Part II, you will monitor the temperature as warm sand and water cool. This simulates the situation when the sun goes down in the evening. You will then apply your results to local weather patterns.


  • Use a temperature sensor to measure the temperature of land and water.
  • Calculate temperature changes.
  • Apply your results to local weather patterns.
  • Predict the occurrence of land and sea breezes.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #3 of Climate and Meteorology Experiments. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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