Introduction to the properties of clay minerals

Stephen Guggenheim
,
University of Illinois at Chicago
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Summary

These laboratory experiments are designed to show the cation exchange capabilities of clays and how these exchanges affect physical properties.

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Context

Audience

This lab exercise could be used in undergraduate courses in mineralogy, sedimentology, hydrology, environmental sciences, geomorphology, physical geology, or civil engineering.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

none

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is a stand alone exercise. This activity is a stand-alone exercise, but is part of a larger volume of classroom and laboratory activities from "Teaching Mineralogy," a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997,406 pp.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

In this activity students learn about the physical properties of clays.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Skills developed include the analysis of data and the application of experiments to environmentally relevant problems.

Other skills goals for this activity

Students also learn to work with a partner or a group.

Description of the activity/assignment

This activity explores how clay affects the permeability of sands, the effect of chemical differences of the clay (cation exchange), and how these results may be applied to low-level radioactive waste disposal sites.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Class discussions are used to establish whether students have met the goals.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Brady, J., Mogk, D. W., and Perkins, D., (editors), 1997, Teaching Mineralogy, a workbook published by the Mineralogical Society of America, 406 pp.

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