Teach the Earth > Petrology > Teaching Activities > Thermobarometry Problem Set

# Thermobarometry Problem Set

Jane Selverstone
,
University of New Mexico

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

• Scientific Accuracy
• Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
• Pedagogic Effectiveness
• Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
• Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

#### Summary

This homework assignment gives students first-hand experience with thermobarometric calculations. Because many of my students are math challenged, I give them a choice of solving the equations by hand or with Excel. They must first look at mineral compositions and make predictions regarding relative pressures, then calculate conditions for two sets of compositions, and finally use the P-T results to evaluate a tectonic hypothesis. The "thinking" questions are very open ended and can involve discussion of diffusion, heat flow, and tectonic settings.

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## Context

#### Audience

This activity is designed for a sophomore or junior level petrology course for geoscience majors.

#### How the activity is situated in the course

This course is a stand-alone exercise.

## Goals

#### Content/concepts goals for this activity

This activity is designed to help students perform thermobarometric calculations by hand or using Exel in order to gain a better understanding of minerals and P-Ts.

## Description of the activity/assignment

This homework assignment gives students first-hand experience with thermobarometric calculations. Because many of my students are math challenged, I give them a choice of solving the equations by hand or with Excel. They must first look at mineral compositions and make predictions regarding relative pressures, then calculate conditions for two sets of compositions, and finally use the P-T results to evaluate a tectonic hypothesis. The "thinking" questions are very open ended and can involve discussion of diffusion, heat flow, and tectonic settings.

## Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals if they have successfully completed the problem set and are able to answer the thinking questions at the end.