Friday, May 17, 2013

The San Francisco Bay Model

Where can you 'walk' around San Francisco Bay in an hour?
My son, Ron, told me about this museum located in Sausalito and it sounded just different enough to be  truly interesting.

I located this enormous, warehouse-type building tucked along a finger of the bay amidst working boats, marinas and boatyards..
  ....The San Francisco Bay/Delta Hydraulic Model is as big as two football fields and mimics water flows and tidal movement through precisely formed channels and bays.  

Built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers between 1956-57, the Bay Model helped planners and engineers test the impacts of man-made changes to the Bay's tidal flows, currents and salinity.

I have traveled around the Bay many many times in my life but never had a clear picture of its true size until I saw this.  (I also had to suppress a strong desire to float a little paper boat on it. This place could be a little boy's dream.)
The model reproduces the tides of San Francisco Bay.  Time is scaled to represent a full tidal cycle every fifteen minutes.  (If you look carefully at the water under one of the skylights you can see the ripples on the surface as the tide moves in and out.)

The model is huge and fills this three-acre building.
Today, the Bay Model is an educational tool for residents of the Bay-Delta region and for visitors from around the world.  The physical model continues to demonstrate the tidal conditions of the Bay and Delta.

And after I had circled the Bay I discovered a whole different section that maps the rivers of the Delta that feed into the Bay.

And lovely murals all along the way show the landscape around the Bay.

Suisun Bay
 Bay Bridge 

Coast Guard Island
 The following post shows artwork made from debris pulled from the surrounding waters.  All in all this is a great teaching tool for school children--and for me.  Thanks, Ron.

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