The Bay Model

Built in the 1950s to test a rather ambitious plan to build a series of dams across large parts of San Francisco Bay, the Bay Model is an impressive, multi-acre scale model of most of the lower part of watershed. The model found that the plan was extremely flawed, and would likely cause extensive flash floods, but it lived on as laboratory to study the movement of water in the region until the early 2000s, when computer modelling became feasible.

The model was built with three different scales, with the vertical depth being exaggerated in order to improve the accuracy of depth measurements, and the scale of time on the model condensing the tide cycle down to under 15 minutes.

We unfortunately visited it when the water was not flowing, but there is a great little summary by Tom Scott:

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