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Physics and Coordinate Systems

We have attempted to accurately model the physics of water motion in the tank. The primary driving force is a positive-displacement circulation on the top deck (reportedly designed and constructed by David Packard). In order to accurately describe the physics of water motion, as well as the locations of plants and behavior of animals, we must carefully describe tank dimensions using a well-defined coordinate system.

Coordinate Systems powerpoint slides were prepared by Todd Gagnon to document tank, locale & entity coordinate systems. This work was based on several weeks of class discussions.

Coordinate systems directory The physics and coordinate systems directory contains information on physical dimensions, coordinate system measurement conventions, and the physics of tank water flow from the topside pump. Scott Key and David Schalm prepared a number map diagrams, first from class measurements of the tank and then using architectural plans.

Hydrodynamics Considerations were prepared by David Hauth based on recorded tank observations, numerous hydrodynamics discussions and collated class contributions. This page presents the various analytic models attempted and our final approximation that successful reproduces realistic results in real time.

The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) for this home page is

Contact information: Don Brutzman (, 831.656.2149)
(29 August 99) (official NPS disclaimer)