Sediments and the Global Carbon Cycle
This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
This activity has been extensively reviewed for inclusion in the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network's collection of educational resources. For information the process and the collection, see http://cleanet.org/clean/about/selected_by_CLEAN.
This page first made public: Oct 19, 2006
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
How the activity is situated in the course
Content/concepts goals for this activity
1) Make students aware that sedimentary rocks are the primary long-term repository for carbon on Earth, although over the short term only a small amount of terrestrial and marine productivity is preserved.
2) Demonstrate the relevance of sedimentary geology to current issues (global warming).
3) Introduce students to the the importance of the relationship between organic carbon and mineral surfaces, and get them to think about its implications.
4) Introduce students to the use of organic geochemistry (stable carbon isotopes) for paleoenvironmental interpretations.
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Other skills goals for this activity
Description of the activity/assignment
Determining whether students have met the goals
Download teaching materials and tips
- Activity Description/Assignment (Microsoft Word 87kB Jul3 06)
- Instructions for Optional Demonstration of Carbon Separation (Microsoft Word 27kB Jul3 06)
Lamb, A.L., Wilson, G.P., and Leng, M.J., 2006, A review of coastal paleoclimate and relative sea-level reconstructions using 13C and C/N ratios in organic material: Earth Science Reviews, v. 75, p.29-57.
Meyers, P.A., 1997, Organic geochemical proxies of paleoceanographic, paleolimnologic, and paleoclimatic processes: Organic Geochemistry, v. 27, p.213-250.
Ransom, B., Kim, D., Kastner, M., and Wainwright, S., 1998, Organic matter preservation on continental slopes: Importance of mineralogy and surface area: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, v. 62, p.1329-1345.
Zong, Y., Lloyd, J.M., Leng, M.J., Yim, W.W.-S., and Huang, G., 2006, Reconstruction of Holocene monsoon history from the Pearl River Estuary, southern China, using diatoms and carbon isotope ratios: The Holocene, v. 16, p.251-263.