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Quantitative Skills, Thinking, and Reasoning Activities


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Harker Diagrams
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Oct. 26, 2004. Description In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of volcanic ...

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Quantifying Groundwater Baseflow and Improving Math Skills through a Stream-Discharge Exercise
James Reichard, Georgia Southern University
A two-part exercise is presented where students quantify stream discharge and use the data to determine groundwater baseflow. They first use tedious hand calculations to compute discharge; then develop their own ...

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Intro to Graphing
Debra Woodall, Daytona State College
Intro to Graphing is a 2-phase exercise that introduces students to Excel for the purposes of properly storing their data and producing graphs.

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Mid-level spreadsheeting and complex modeling of real-world scarp evolution
William Locke, Montana State University-Bozeman
This exercise is a second or familiarization exercise in spreadsheeting, but is also a mathematical model for slope evolution. It uses the concept of "erosivity" (generally, the relative ratio of driving and resisting forces) and slope angle to reshape an initial topography. Finally, it asks the students themselves to come up with a real-world situation worth modeling.

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Where is that chunk of crust going?
Vince Cronin, Baylor University
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

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Problem set: Constructing metamorphic phase diagrams using phase equilibria and the Clausius-Clapeyron equation
Mark Brandriss
In this problem set students construct a P-T phase diagram for the aluminosilicate polymorphs based on experimental phase equilibria and application of the Clausius-Clapeyron equation. The problem set uses unit ...

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Working with Electron Microprobe Data from a High Pressure Experiment - Calculating Mineral Formulas, Unit Cell Content, and Geothermometry
Brandon Schwab, Western Carolina University
In this problem set students use electron microprobe analyses of a peridotite partial melting experiment to determine mineral formulas, calculate unit cell content, plot results on a classification diagram, and use ...

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Modeling the interior of the Earth using Seismic Waves
Eric Baer, Highline College
Students use a variety of tools to explore the interior of the Earth in this inquiry activity.

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Vectors and slope stability
Eric Baer, Highline College
An in-class activity or homework for graphically solving slope-stability problems with vectors.

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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics
Allen Glazner, afg@unc.edu Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Kent Ratajeski, kratajeski@montana.edu Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, ...

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