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Geochemistry Activities

Stream sampling in the Animas River
USGS photo

This collection of activities can be used in geochemistry courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more. The materials below are sorted by topic, and may be listed under more than one topic. Help us expand the collection by contributing your favorite teaching activity.


Results 1 - 13 of 13 matches

Temperature/Salinity/Density activity part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Petra Dekens, San Francisco State University
This is an in-class activity designed to improve the students' understanding of the relationships between temperature and density, salinity and density, and density differences in driving vertical water ...

Living Learning Community: Spaceship Earth Research Course part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Penelope Boston, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Freshmen enrolled in the Spaceship Earth Living Learning Community conduct research on a real project that is formulated and conducted during a 2-semester academic year.

How acidic is the rain if atmospheric CO2 concentration doubles? part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Lixin Jin, University of Texas at El Paso, The
Students use basic aqueous geochemistry knowledge to investigate controls of the atmospheric carbon dioxide level on pH values of the wet precipitation at standard conditions (25 oC, 1 atmospheric pressure).

Capabilities and Limitations of Geochemical Instruments part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Carmen Nezat, Eastern Washington University
The purpose of this exercise is to understand the capability and limitations of several instruments (AA, ICP-OES, ICP-MS) used for geochemical analysis. Students compare and contrast the cost, detection limits, ...

Stable Isotopes and M&Ms part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Oceanography:Activities
Roman de Jesus, SUNY at Stony Brook
Students are often confused by the concepts of stable isotope signatures and conventional notation. This activity is designed to introduce students to the del notation (isotopic signature), fractionation, and end ...

Modeling U-Series Concordia/Discordia Using STELLA part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Kirsten Menking, Vassar College
U-Series dating techniques are widely used to determine the absolute ages of some of Earth's oldest rocks, but the concordia/discordia diagram can be quite difficult for students to grasp. I have produced a STELLA-based lab exercise to develop students' understanding of this important chronologic technique. Students create models of the two isotopic decay systems and run these models to create the concordia diagram. They then carry out experiments in which they "add" or "remove" varying amounts of lead or uranium in simulation of metamorphism. In the course of the lab, students are introduced to the concepts of exponential decay and secular equilibrium as well as modeling concepts such as the creation of if-then statements.

A Jigsaw Approach to the Weathering Thermostat Hypothesis part of CLEAN:Community:Teaching Materials
Maureen Padden, McMaster University
This activity is part of the community collection of teaching materials on climate and energy topics. These materials were submitted by faculty as part of the CLEAN Climate Workshop, held in June, 2011 and are not ...

Half Life Model part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
David N. Steer ( Kyle Gray (, University of Akron This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. GEO-0506518.
While working in groups to facilitate peer tutoring, students manipulate a hands-on, physical model to better comprehend the nature of half life. Students use the model to simulate the decay of radionuclides. The ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Online Investigation of an Island Arc Volcano: Anatahan, Mariana Arc part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Jeff Ryan
This activity is a Web investigation and research exercise starting with the 2003-present Anatahan volcanic eruptions in the Mariana arc, and concluding with a petrologic examination of published Mariana arc lavas data sets.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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The Anatomy of a Rate Law part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Quantitative Writing:Examples
Barry Bickmore, Brigham Young University
This assignment teaches geochemistry students to explain the mathematical forms of rate laws, and organize paragraphs in their writing assignments properly.

VEPP: Monitoring the Pu'u 'Ō'ō Eruption of Kīlauea Volcano Using Geochemical, Deformation and Seismicity Timeseries Data part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Volcano Exploration Project: Pu`u `O`o:Examples
Andrew R. Greene and Michael O. Garcia, University of Hawai'i at Mānoa
Pu'u 'O'o at the end of episode 32 (USGS photograph by J.D. Griggs, 4/22/85, JG5363). This is an exercise that is in development and has not yet been fully tested in the classroom. Please check back ...

Chemical Inputs and Outputs at Subduction Zones part of MARGINS Data in the Classroom:MARGINS Mini-Lessons
Karin Block, CUNY City College
In this exercise students utilize data from geochemistry databases to analyze inputs and outputs associated with arc volcanism.

From Isotopes to Temperature: Working With A Temperature Equation part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
Dorien McGee
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum module. Students build a spreadsheet to examine from a dataset the relation between oxygen isotopes in corals and the temperature of surrounding seawater.