Rock Samples and Geochemistry Analyses

Maria de Lourdes da Silva Rosa & Debora Correia Rios
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We will emphasize the importance of rock sampling and preparation for geochemistry analyses.

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Undergraduate course in geochemistry for first year Geology students.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Introductory Physical Geology

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is part of a sequence of laboratory activities developed along the course.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

  • Types of materials subject to geochemistry analyses
  • Procedures and care in sampling
  • Tools for sample preparation
  • Avoiding contamination and common errors

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

  • ICP-AES Analyses
  • AAS Analyses
  • Microprobe Analyses
  • XRF Analyses

Other skills goals for this activity

  • Reporting analytical data
  • Operating analytical equipment
  • Working in groups

Description of the activity/assignment

In this lab set students use field work to collect a granite sample which will be prepared for whole-rock analyses through ICP-AES, AAS, and XRF methodologies, as well as mineral concentrations and thin sections for microprobe. The bulk of these exercices involve sample and data manipulation and also include some open-ended questions as comparisons between mineral and whole-rock composition, different kind of data presentation in geochemistry, and limitations and applicability of distinct analytical methodologies.

Determining whether students have met the goals

  • Activities reports
  • Classroom discussion
  • Comparisons between distinct groups of students working with the same sample

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Teaching materials and tips

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