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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.


Results 91 - 105 of 147 matches

Origins of Mafic Enclaves in the Dinkey Creek Pluton, Central Sierra Nevada Batholith, California part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Jade Star Lackey, Pomona College;
In this lab exercise, students use and substantial spreadsheet of major, minor and trace element data compiled from studies of the Dinkey Creek pluton (Sierra Nevada batholith) and its microgranular mafic enclaves. ...

Calculating Rb-Sr Isochrons part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Andy Barth, IUPUI
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 ...

Crystallization-Differentiation of Basaltic Magma part of Activities
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
In this exercise, students use geochemical data from volcanic glasses and minerals in lavas and drill cores from the solidified Kilauea Iki lava lake to learn about the petrologic processes related to the eruption ...

Graphing Chemical Data to Identify Fractional Crystallization part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
John Brady, Smith College
Students are given major-element, whole-rock chemical analyses from ten samples of lava from the 1868 eruption of Mauna Loa. They do not know sequence of eruption, only that the lavas came from the same volcano. ...

REE Modeling of Melting and Crystallization part of Activities
Mark Schmitz, Boise State University
This exercise is used in and out of class for exploring the use of trace elements to model melting and crystallization processes; it emphasizes quantitative skills and constructing numerical models.

Introduction to Equilibrium Thermodynamics: Salt Dissolution part of Activities
Andrew Knudsen, Lawrence University;
Students dissolve simple salts, halite and sylvite, in water at different temperatures and explore the thermodynamics of this simple system to build a foundation for further studies.

Stable Isotopes and M&Ms part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Oceanography:Activities
Roman de Jesus, SUNY at Stony Brook
Students are often confused by the concepts of stable isotope signatures and conventional notation. This activity is designed to introduce students to the del notation (isotopic signature), fractionation, and end ...

Weak Acid Equilibrium part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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 ...

Petrology in the Field and Laboratory part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Undergraduate Research:Examples
Rachel Beane, Bowdoin College (
In this multi-week project, students collect samples in the field, analyze them using various tools and instruments, then present their results and interpretations.

Analysis of Hydrochemical Data part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Joseph Asante, Tennessee Technological University
In this activity students examine groundwater flow path based on hydraulic head data/ potentiometric surface and spatial variation of groundwater chemistry. Students analyze the data using AquaChem and Phreeqc ...

Introduction to urban watershed geochemistry part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Vijay Vulava, College of Charleston
The main goal of this multi-part field and lab exercise is to introduce students to practical aspects of soil and water geochemistry. Some of the analyses for this lab are conducted in the field using field ...

Serpentinite in Subduction Zones: How do we find it, and how common is it? part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Jeff Ryan
A mineralogical, petrological, and geophysical exploration of the role of serpentinite in subduction zones, as highlighted in the two NSF-MARGINS Subduction Factory focus sites.

Chemical Inputs and Outputs at Subduction Zones part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Karin Block, CUNY City College
In this exercise students utilize data from geochemistry databases to analyze inputs and outputs associated with arc volcanism.

What does the core/mantle boundary look like? part of Cutting Edge:Topics: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 ...

Crystal Structures as Geobarometers part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
Kent Ratajeski, University of Kentucky
In this exercise, designed for undergraduate igneous petrology or advanced mineralogy courses, students download a series of crystal structures from the American Mineralogist Crystal Structure Database to explore ...