How Large is a Ton of Rock?
One of a collection of PowerPoint/Excel modules designed to reinforce quantitative skills in geologic context. Students build a spreadsheet to calculate the edge length of cubes and diameter of spheres of various rocks weighing a ton. The rocks include ice, vein quartz, gabbro, granite and porous arkose. The calculation starts with the abundance and density of the minerals composing the rocks.
- Gain experience in figuring out how to solve a problem starting with weight and density and asking for volume.
- Gain experience in figuring out a problem involving weighted averages in various contexts.
- Have worked with the concept that the bulk physical properties of a rock are related to the physical properties of its minerals
- Consider the effect of density on the volume of geometric bodies of the same weight.
- Consider the contribution of porosity to the bulk density of rock.