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Quantitative Skills

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Estimating Exchange Rates of Water in Embayments using Simple Budget Equations. part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Keith Sverdrup, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Simple budgets may be used to estimate the exchange of water in embayments that capitalize on the concept of steady state and conservation principals. This is especially true for bays that experience a significant exchange of freshwater. This exchange of freshwater may reduce the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if it involves addition of freshwater from rivers, R, and/or precipitation, P. Alternatively, it may increase the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if there is relatively little river input and high evaporation, E. Since freshwater input changes the salt concentration in the bay, and salt is a conservative material, it is possible to combine two steady state budgets for a bay, one for salt and one for water, to solve for the magnitude of the water flows that enter and exit the bay mouth. Students will make actual calculations for the inflow and outflow of water to Puget Sound, Washington and the Mediterranean Sea and compare them to actual measured values.

Continental Crust Mass Balance Calculation part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
A quantitative skills-intensive exercise using data from the Mineral Mountains, Utah, to calculate mass balance and to address the "space problem" involved with emplacing plutons into the crust.

Math Review part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Kallina Dunkle, Austin Peay State University
This is designed as an introductory lab for hydrogeology or other upper-level courses that are quantitative in nature in order to review key mathematical concepts that will be used throughout the semester.

Calculation of the Magnitude of Lunar and Solar Tidal Forces on the Earth part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Randal Mandock, Clark Atlanta University; Randal Mandock, Clark Atlanta University
Project in which students calculate the magnitude of lunar and solar tidal forces on the earth. They calculate the solar tidal effect relative to the lunar tidal effect and the relative solar tidal effect for spring-tide conditions.

Investigating dimensions of the solar system part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Francisco San Juan, Elizabeth City State University; Steven Schafersman, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, The; Michael Stewart, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Planetary data are used to investigate and evaluate the Nebular Hypothesis.

What is the fate of CO2 produced by fossil fuel combustion? part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Paul Quay
A box model is used to simulate the build up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during the industrial era and predict the future increase in atmospheric CO2 levels during the next century.

Density of the Earth - How to Solve It part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Len Vacher, Dept of Geology, University of South Florida
This module addresses the real problem of determining the density of the Earth and invites the student to figure out how to solve the problem.

Kepler's Third Law - The Equation part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Len Vacher, Dept of Geology, University of South Florida
In this module, students are asked to devise a simple relationship between the sidereal period and orbital radius.

Big Money: Intuition about big numbers using the national debt (and other governmental excess) part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Jerry Johnson (compiled by Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh)
an exercise designed to help students get their brains around big numbers using real world examples

How many sand grains on a beach? part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Alan Whittington, University of Missouri-Columbia
Short exercise designed to give students practice in determining what information is needed to answer a question, estimating an answer, and calculating an answer (including unit conversions and scientific notation). Emphasizes the relevance of large numbers to society (population, debt, etc).

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