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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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ConcepTest: Isotopic Dating with Parent to Daughter Ratios part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
The half-life of a radioactive isotope is 500 million years. Scientists testing a rock sample discover that the sample contains three times as many daughter isotopes as parent isotopes. What is the age of the rock? ...

ConcepTest: What percentage of parent isotopes remain? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
The half-life of a radioactive isotope is 1,000 million years. Scientists testing a rock sample discover that the ratio of parent and daughter isotopes indicates that the rock is 3,000 million years old. What ...

ConcepTest: Change in Porportion of Parent Isotopes Over Time part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
Which graph below best represents the change in the proportion of unstable (parent) radioactive isotopes with time? a. A b. B c. C d. D

ConcepTest: Oldest Rock Dating #1 part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
The world's oldest known rock is approximately 4 billion (4,000 million) years old. What are the approximate relative percentages of parent and daughter isotopes for Uranium-238 and Lead-206 (half-life = 4.5 ...

ConcepTest: Oldest Rock Dating #2 part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
The world's oldest known rock is approximately 4 billion (4,000 million) years old. What are the approximate relative percentages of parent (Uranium-235) and daughter (Lead-207) isotopes? The half-life of 235U ...

ConcepTest: Radioactive Decay part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
If radioactive decay began with 400,000 parent atoms, how many would be left after 3 half lives? a. 200,000 b. 100,000 c. 50,000 d. 25,000

ConcepTest: Isotope Mass and Atomic Number part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
The isotope of element X has 15 protons, 17 neutrons, and 15 electrons. The element has an atomic number of ____ and a mass number of ____. a. 15; 32 b. 17; 15 c. 17; 47 d. 15; 30

ConcepTest: Calculating Rock Age from Parent Radioactive Isotope part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
A radioactive (parent) isotope of element X is discovered in different amounts in four rocks (A, B, C, D) of the same composition. Which rock has the oldest calculated age? a. 15% of element X remains in Rock A b. ...

ConcepTest: Einsteinium Half-life part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:ConcepTests:Examples
The isotope Einsteinium-253 has a half-life of 20 days. If you began an experiment with an 80-gram sample of Einsteinium-253, how much would remain after 60 days? a. 60 grams b. 40 grams c. 20 grams d. 10 grams

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