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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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Problem set: Constructing metamorphic phase diagrams using phase equilibria and the Clausius-Clapeyron equation part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Mark Brandriss
In this problem set students construct a P-T phase diagram for the aluminosilicate polymorphs based on experimental phase equilibria and application of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The problem set uses unit ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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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 ...

Using spring water chemistry to understand groundwater inputs part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Rebecca Frus, University of New Mexico-Main Campus
The assignment will begin with teaching proper water collection and use of equipment for hydrochemical field work. Once the class is familiar with sample collecting technques, the class takes a field trip to ...

independent soil investigation project part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Stephanie Ewing, Montana State University-Bozeman
Students demonstrate their skill in soils investigation and interpretation through independent projects undertaken in groups of one to three and presented in class using visual aids.

Construction of a Simple Conceptual Model part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Scott Werts, Winthrop University
This homework assignment is designed to give the students practice in developing a simple conceptual model using reservoirs, fluxes, and simple calculations of sediment, carbon and nutrient accumulation in a ...

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.

Soil Profile Homework part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Daniel Hirmas, University of Kansas Main Campus
This is one of 4 homework assignments given to students throughout this introductory soils course. The main goal of these assignments are to give the students practice with the mechanics of problem solving, ...

Carbon in the Oceans part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Amy Townsend-Small, University of Cincinnati-Main Campus
In this assignment, students in small groups are asked to interpret and explain a figure depicting one aspect of marine carbon biogeochemistry. Then a representative of each group explains the figure to 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).

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 ...

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 ...

Soil Biogeochemical Cycles part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Colin Robins, Claremont McKenna College
This group activity charges students with teaching their colleagues about the biogeochemical cycle of one key soil element (e.g., either C, N, S, P, Ca, or Fe). Students are given a single class period to summarize ...

Dilutions and Spectral Properties of Solutions part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Carmen Nezat, Eastern Washington University
The purpose of this week's lab is to - prepare calibration standards - use a UV-Vis spectrometer to determine the spectral peaks for several dye solutions, and create a calibration curve - calculate how much ...

Isotopes in the Hydrogeologic System part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Laura Ruhl, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
The students will use activities to understand atomic mass and isotopes and stable isotopic fractionation in the hydrologic system.