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Geochemistry Activities

Stream sampling in the Animas River
USGS photo

This collection of activities can be used in geochemistry courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more. The materials below are sorted by topic, and may be listed under more than one topic. Help us expand the collection by contributing your favorite teaching activity.



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Geochemistry Applications

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    Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
    Christopher D. Condit
    In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage ...

    On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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    Rb-Sr isotope in-class exercise part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
    Allen Glazner
    This set of problems involves calculations of changes in radiogenic isotope ratios. It requires students to understand the concept of an isochron and how isotope ratios change (or do not change) during magma mixing ...

    Application of Sr Isotopic Data to Tuolumne Intrusive Series, Sierra Nevada, CA part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
    Jeff Tepper, University of Puget Sound
    In this problem set students are given Rb/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr data for whole rock and mineral samples from three granitic intrusions in the Sierra Nevada. They use these data (in EXCEL) to calculate isochron ages and ...

    Calculating Rb-Sr Isochrons part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
    Andy Barth, Indiana University-Bloomington
    This is a spreadsheet that I use in petrology to walk students through calculating Rb-Sr isochrons and talking about isotope heterogeneity and sampling at various scales. The example exercise is the Tuolumne ...

    What can zircons tell us about the Early Earth? part of Cutting Edge:Early Earth:Activities
    Aaron Cavosie, University of Puerto Rico; Julie Baldwin, University of Montana-Missoula, The; Darrell Henry, Louisiana State University
    This image shows an array of Jack Hill zircons arranged on a piece of tape prior to casting in epoxy. Details Students create U-Pb concordia plots in Excel to experience the methods used to date the worlds oldest ...

    Exploring Radiometric Dating with Dice part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
    Carla Whittington derived from Baer (1999) Related Links Radioactive Decay ProbabilityExponential Growth and Decay
    An activity in which students use dice to explore radioactive decay and dating and make simple calculations.

    Radiometric Dating part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
    Related Links Radioactive Decay Exponential Growth and Decay Peter Kohn - James Madison University Christopher Gellasch - U.S. Military Academy Jim Sochacki - James Madison University Scott Eaton - James Madison University Richard Ford - Weber State University
    This activity leads students through derivations of the equations associated with radiometric dating.

    Radioactive Decay and Geochronology part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
    Kirsten Menking, Vassar College
    Students create a STELLA model of the radioactive decay process.

    Understanding Radioactivity in Geology: The Basics of Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
    Christina StringerUniversity of South Florida, Tampa FL 33620 This activity was developed for Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum . National Science Foundation, DUE 0442629.
    PowerPoint module leading students through creation and manipulation of spreadsheet to forward model an example of exponential decaythe number of remaining unpopped kernels of popcorn in a bag of popping popcorn.

    Using Melting Ice to Teach Radiometric Dating part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
    Developed by Donald Wise, Franklin and Marshall College. Taken from Wise, 1990 . Related Links Radioactive Decay
    Students are challenged to a Sherlock Holmes-style mystery in which they construct their own decay curves of melting ice to determine time-zero.