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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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Writing chemical reactions part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
John Ayers, Vanderbilt University
This is a simple introduction to writing weathering and redox reactions by hand and by using the Rxn program in the Geochemists Workbench. Its usually the first HW assignment I give in my class "Geochemical ...

Mineral Solubility Calculations part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
John Ayers, Vanderbilt University
Explores the pH dependence of the solubility of quartz, kaolinite, and rare earth phosphate, and familiarizes students with the use of the Geochemists Workbench programs "React" for creating reaction path ...

Introduction to Carbonate Equilibrium part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
michael stapleton, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
The activity asks students to make observations about what occurs when two effervescent antacid tablets are placed into a beaker of water. The Students work together in groups. There are three parts to the ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Acid Mine Drainage Field-Lab Experience Round 1 part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
Greg Druschel, University of Vermont and State Agricultural College
This contribution outlines a trip with my Geochemistry class to the Ely Mine, a massive sulfide mine (Besshi-type) in east-central Vermont and the field work they did there. We spent a full day discussing the site, ...

Relationship between mineral weathering and groundwater composition part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
Nancy Hinman, University of Montana-Missoula, The
By observing changes in rocks exposed to chemical weathering, students are to infer resulting changes to the chemical composition of groundwater. Students are required to justify their inferences through the use of ...

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 ...

Living Learning Community: Spaceship Earth Research Course part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Penelope Boston, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Freshmen enrolled in the Spaceship Earth Living Learning Community conduct research on a real project that is formulated and conducted during a 2-semester academic year.

Environmental Geochemistry poster project part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Jodi Ryder, Central Michigan University
This is an independent case study project completed in pairs. The students should investigate an example of natural geochemistry and then use a poster format to share their findings with the class.

How acidic is the rain if atmospheric CO2 concentration doubles? part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Lixin Jin, University of Texas at El Paso, The
Students use basic aqueous geochemistry knowledge to investigate controls of the atmospheric carbon dioxide level on pH values of the wet precipitation at standard conditions (25 oC, 1 atmospheric pressure).

Co-evolution of Life and Minerals part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Penelope Boston, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Based on the 2010 Scientific American paper by Hazen, and the more technical 2008 paper of Hazen et al, both of which explore the effect of the biosphere on the tremendous number of mineral species that occur on ...

Geochemistry all around us part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
Andrew Knudsen, Lawrence University
We look at a variety of natural waters in and around Appleton over the course of the term. The goal is for students to recognize differences and how those play into the topics we have covered in the course.

Integrating research methods into geochemistry using local resources part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
Jeanette Jerz, DePauw University
This is a semester-long project that introduces students to research methods and practices. Students learn both field and lab techniques and how to develop testable hypotheses. Using local resources is an easy way ...

Weak Acid Equilibrium part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
michael stapleton, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania
Students are asked to calculate the pH of a weak acid aqueous solution. The problems involve a series of generic acids with assigned equilibrium constants (Ka) and total concentrations (Ct). Initially, students are ...