Application of Sr Isotopic Data to Tuolumne Intrusive Series, Sierra Nevada, CA

Jeff Tepper
,
University of Puget Sound
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Summary

In this problem set students are given Rb/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr data for whole rock and mineral samples from three granitic intrusions in the Sierra Nevada. They use these data (in EXCEL) to calculate isochron ages and initial ages for the intrusions and then interpret their results. This problem is intended to teach some spreadsheet skills (linear regressions, graphing) as well as having them think about the use of radiogenic isotopes.

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Context

Audience

This activity would be used in an undergraduate (sophomore or junior level) required course in petrology.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have an understanding of how to use Excel.

How the activity is situated in the course

This activity is a stand-alone exercise.

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

This activity is designed to teach some spreadsheet skills (linear regressions, graphing) as well as having students think about the use of radiogenic isotopes.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Working with Excel

Description of the activity/assignment

In this problem set students are given Rb/Sr and 87Sr/86Sr data for whole rock and mineral samples from three granitic intrusions in the Sierra Nevada. They use these data (in EXCEL) to calculate isochron ages and initial ages for the intrusions and then interpret their results. This problem is intended to teach some spreadsheet skills (linear regressions, graphing) as well as having them think about the use of radiogenic isotopes.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students have met the goals by successfully completing the activity.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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