Lab 6: Analyzing Sediment Cores

The lab activity was developed by Jeff Lockwood of TERC and Alison Mote of the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders for the EarthLabs project.

Summary and Learning Objectives

In this activity, students put their observational skills to work as they take on the role of sedimentologists in the core description lab. In addition to visual descriptive information, they use proxy data, including microfossils, and Earth's paleomagnetic record to determine the ages of the sediments as they build evidence to interpret changes in Earth's past climate. They use actual core data collected during Expedition 341.

By the end of this Lab, students should be able to:

  • Describe physical characteristics of sediment cores.
  • Use visual descriptive information to make inferences about past climate in S. Alaska.
  • Determine the ages of sediment cores using microfossils and paleomagnetic data.
  • Explain how oxygen isotopes can be used as a proxy for past climate.
Open the Student Lab »



Activity Overview and Teaching Materials

Detailed overview of what students will do in each lab activity, how long it will take, and what materials are required to complete the lab.


Printable Materials

Download and print files needed for each lab activity, including images, data tables, and Stop and Think questions.

Teaching Notes and Tips

What you need to prepare ahead of time, and general recommendations for classroom implementation, as well as guidelines and facilitation tips for leading class discussions.

Student Notebooks

Suggestions for how to use Student Notebooks for Lab 6.

Assessment

There are several options for assessment of student understanding of material introduced in this lab. Choose from the following list, or create your own assessments.

Science Standards

Lab 6 supports the following Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):

Additional Resources


Explore background information and content extensions related to Lab 6.