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Geologic Time Activities


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Geologic Time Calculations
Francisco San Juan, Elizabeth City State University
Radiometric age determination using parent/daughter composition and a radiometric decay curve.

The Evolution of Earth through Time
Phil Stokes, The University of Arizona
This activity is designed for large freshman courses (>200 students) and is used in-class. The activity requires a short (15 minute) overview of Earth history before students have the opportunity to work through ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Relative Dating of Geologic Materials
Steve Mattox, Grand Valley State University
This lessons allows students to constuct the basic principals used to understand relative geologic time and the skills used to construct the geologic time scale.

Crater Counting Lab exercise
Kevin Mullins, Coconino County Community College
This lab is designed to teach students how we can estimate the age of other planetary surfaces by counting and size-binning impact craters. It also illustrates some examples of how erosional or deopositional ...

Understanding Radioactivity in Geology: The Basics of Decay
Christina StringerUniversity of South Florida, Tampa FL 33620 This activity was developed for Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum . National Science Foundation, DUE 0442629.
PowerPoint module leading students through creation and manipulation of spreadsheet to forward model an example of exponential decaythe number of remaining unpopped kernels of popcorn in a bag of popping popcorn.

The Cosmic Calendar
Erika Grundstrom, Vanderbilt University
In this activity, one takes ALL of time, from the beginning of time (i.e., the Big Bang) all the way up to today, but one compresses it into one year. One can do this for all levels of students depending on how ...

Calculating the radius of the Earth
Basil Tikoff, UW Madison
Science students often have difficulty thinking about large spatial scales. The purpose of the exercise is to redo Eratosthenes' calculation of the radius of the Earth using data from to sites in ancient Egypt. The excercise teaches about the methodology of science - how Eratothenes figured it out - rather than worried about what the "right" answer is. It can also be used to discuss the role of models in geological thinking.

Faint Young Sun, Radiocarbon dating
Mea Cook, Williams College
This problem set follows lectures and readings on (1) the Stefan-Boltzmann equation and the greenhouse effect in an n-layer atmosphere and (2) radiometric dating. The goal is for the students to apply equations ...

Theoretical estimation of cooling times
Steve Dickman, SUNY at Binghamton
Development of equations governing conduction of heat, culminating in a scaling analysis to easily estimate order-of-magnitude time for magma body to cool. Simple ultimate formulas and wide-ranging geoscience ...

Sea level change
Lauren Sahl, Maine Maritime Academy
Students calculate sea level change due to melting ice caps, thermal expansion and changes in ridge spreading rates.

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