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Group 3 - Petrology Geochemistry  

I've opened up this thread as a communication space for members of group 3, petrology & geochemistry, as well as members of other groups, to share ideas regarding activities with a petrology/geochemistry component.

The conveners have suggested that we might try to put together a phone conference of group members early in the week, Monday or Tuesday. This would be an opportunity for us to seek collaborations, share what we are up to, and bounce ideas off of one another. To set up such a phone conference we'll need to identify possible times. My availability on those days is any time EXCEPT Mon. 11-12 & 2-3, and Tu. 2-4 (CST).

2008:6867

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Today is much easier for me than tomorrow. Bad times would be: 11-noon (M), 9.30-11AM (Tues) 12.30-3.30PM (Tues) (all CST).

2008:6993

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I can participate in phone conference from 4-5pm today EST.

2008:7000

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OK - I'm going to try to post two exercises that I would like to improve onto our thread. This first one is pretty general and looks at approximate abundances of elements in the solar system. I generally use this at both the intro and min/pet level to review a bit about elements, review the concept of a log scale (y-axis on this diagram), and review pattern recognition on a graph. For both levels of courses I use the graph to point out that while most of the elements on the periodic table can be found on Earth, the four most abundant elements by far are Mg, Si, O, and Fe. For a class with a more advanced knowledge of geochemistry, you can tease out 8 different observations about the data that hopefully help set the scene for discussing the geochemical differentiation of the solar system and of Earth.

I've thought about trying to make this more quantitative by giving some temperature snapshots during the nebular cooling process as well as condensation T's for a variety of solids, and getting the students to predict what elements they would expect in different temperature regions of the cooling nebular cloud, followed by predictions as to what the proportions of different elements should on different planets.

Other ideas for improvements would be greatly appreciated!

Attachments:

Abundances of elements in the solar system (Microsoft Word 48kB Feb22 10)

2008:7021

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This second exercise asks students to use P/S wave data and a density profile through the earth to 'discover' Earth's internal rheological and chemical structure. In more advanced classes I've also given the students some tables/graphs of mineral densities so that the students can speculate about what materials might be in what layers.

Ultimately I'd like to have a table of relatively complete data (P/W wave, density) for 15-20 minerals/rocks/substances from the which the students can choose.

I could use help finding the data to fill in the table and any suggestions on improvements (like I probably should remake the graphs myself but need a dataset of numbers to do this!).

Attachments:

Discovering Earth\'s physical and chemical structure (Microsoft Word 322kB Feb22 10)

2008:7022

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