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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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Round Robin Field Methods Protocols for Improved Outcomes part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Todd Halihan, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
This activity provides an approach to teach field methods that is programmed to avoid common pitfalls in teaching field methods to students. The two common problems that are avoided is familiarity with equipment ...

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Basic Chemistry Review part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Thomas Meixner, The University of Arizona
This assignment reviews basic of chemistry for students who should have had 2 introductory semesters of basic chemistry prior to enrolling in the Fundamental of Water Quality course for which the assignment is ...

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Calcium (Ca) availability to ecosystems: Weathering of limestone, apatite, and Ca-plagioclase (anorthite) part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Abir Biswas, The Evergreen State College
Sequence of laboratory activities to develop familiarity with geochemistry bench laboratory experimental methods; demonstration of different weathering rates of different Ca-bearing minerals; connection between ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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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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Environmental Geochemistry Class Project part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Carey Gazis, Central Washington University
This is a inquiry-driven class research project on a local environmental geochemistry question that is accomplished during three-hour laboratory sessions each week. Students are divided into groups that will share ...

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, ...

Quiz and in-class worksheet part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
Karen Hudson-Edwards, Birkbeck University of London
For 1st year 'Introduction to Geochemistry' a pre-lecture quiz reviewing the previous weeks' lecture materials an in-class worksheet allowing students to practice skills relating to chemical ...

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 ...

Compositional Diversity in Volcanic Suites part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
In this exercise, students use geochemical data downloaded from the GEOROC database to explore the origins of compositional variation among volcanic rocks associated with the Yellowstone and Crater Lake calderas.

Spreadsheet analysis of chemical hydrographs part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
This is a good activity to have students practice spreadsheet analysis skills on a medium large data set. It also helps them understand stream hydrographs and baseflow/quickflow components.

Rayleigh fractionation visualization part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
E. Christa Farmer, Hofstra University
A MS Excel spreadsheet gives an account of Rayleigh fractionation, the progressive removal of the heavier oxygen isotope as a moist air parcel moves from the subtropics to the high latitudes. This exercise is ...

Where Did That Quartzite Clast Come From?: A Problem-Based Provenance Study part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
Andrew Hanson, University of Nevada-Las Vegas
Students conducting geochemical provenance studies are forced to deal with obvious things such as manipulating/interpreting geochemical data, but also must deal less obvious factors such as considering earlier ...

What does the core/mantle boundary look like? part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Suzanne Baldwin, Syracuse University
This activity explores how earth scientists infer what materials are present at the core mantle boundary and what this boundary might look like. It provides students with the opportunity to contribute to the ...

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 ...

Experiments with Ultraviolet Radiation and the Greenhouse Effect part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
Melanie Szulczewski, University of Mary Washington
Students use a solar cooker to model the greenhouse effect. They also develop their own experiments to examine the strength of ultraviolet radiation from the sun with various protective materials.