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How Fast Do Materials Weather? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
A think-pair-share activity in which students calculate weathering rates from tombstone weathering data. -
Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Rate of Lava Flow part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question In 1983, an eruption began at Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii that has proved to be the largest and longest-lived eruption since records began in 1823. Lava has poured out of the volcano at an average rate of ...
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.
How Does Surface Deformation at an Active Volcano Relate to Pressure and Volume Change in the Magma Chamber? part of Pedagogy in Action:Partners:Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:Physical Volcanology:Examples
Module by Peter LaFemina, Penn State, State College, PA. This cover page by Ali Furmall, University of South Florida, now at University of Oregon.
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to examine and apply the Mogi model for horizontal and vertical surface displacement vs. depth and pressure conditions in the magma chamber.
Gulf Anoxia Course Project part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Sadredin Moosavi, Tulane University of Louisiana
In this activity students work in groups to investigate the problem of Gulf of Mexico hypoxia before developing mitigation strategies based on local contriubtions to the problem. The students present their ideas in a public meeting debate format from which a solution must be selected by the entire class.
Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Percentage of Copper in Ore part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Suppose that you are building a new house. It will take about 90 kg (198 pounds) of copper to do the electrical wiring. In order to get the copper in the first place, someone needs to mine solid rock that ...
Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Kevin Harrison, McDaniel College
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.
Prospecting for Gold part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
James Myers, University of Wyoming
Gold prospecting exercise.
Choosing Between Home Appliances: Benefits to the Planet and Your Wallet part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Corri Taylor, Wellesley College
Students research various options for new appliances and make purchasing decisions based not merely on purchase price, but also on energy efficiency, which has implications for the planet AND for longer-term personal finances. Students calculate the "payback period" for the more energy efficient appliance and calculate long-term savings.
Energy Cost of Engine Idling part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
This is an open-ended but elementary modeling exercise about idling energy behaviors and impacts.