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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

    Results 1 - 15 of 21 matches

    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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    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 ...

    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 ...

    Sedimentation Rates from Pb-210 data part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
    Steven Petsch, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
    In this exercise, students use a data table of depth, porosity, Pb-210 activity, CaCO3 concentration, 14C age and d13C values to calculate mass accumulation rates, linear sedimentation rates, CaCO3 dissolution and ...

    Isotopes and Tracers part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
    Thomas Meixner, The University of Arizona
    This assignment offers students several problems that help them understand the basic of mixing models and their use in understanding the controls on water quality in the environment. The purpose of the assignment ...

    Modeling U-Series Concordia/Discordia Using STELLA part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
    Kirsten Menking, Vassar College
    U-Series dating techniques are widely used to determine the absolute ages of some of Earth's oldest rocks, but the concordia/discordia diagram can be quite difficult for students to grasp. I have produced a STELLA-based lab exercise to develop students' understanding of this important chronologic technique. Students create models of the two isotopic decay systems and run these models to create the concordia diagram. They then carry out experiments in which they "add" or "remove" varying amounts of lead or uranium in simulation of metamorphism. In the course of the lab, students are introduced to the concepts of exponential decay and secular equilibrium as well as modeling concepts such as the creation of if-then statements.

    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.

    Demonstration of radioactive decay using pennies part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
    Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
    A demonstration (with full class participation) to illustrate radioactive decay by flipping coins. Shows students visually the concepts of exponential decay, half-life and randomness. Works best in large classes -- the more people, the better.

    Using Popcorn to Simulate Radioactive Decay part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
    Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
    Popping popcorn in your class is an excellent way to illustrate both the spontaneity and irreversible change associated with radioactive decay. It helps students to understand the unpredictability of decay.

    JiTT - Geologic Dating part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Just in Time Teaching:Examples
    Laura Guertin, Penn State Brandywine
    1) How are zircons formed? 2) Which of the following statements describes relative geologic dating? a) the Triceratops and Tyrannosaurus rex went extinct at the same time b) dinosaurs came later than horseshoe ...

    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.

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