Quantitative Skills > Teaching Resources > Activities > Water Quality Assessment: Computer Analysis

Water Quality Assessment: Computer Analysis

Ming-Kuo Lee

Auburn University Department of Geology


Use computer software to generate diagrams that facilitate the examination of ion concentrations in ground-water and the chemical evolution of organic compounds in an oil spill.

In part one, students use Piper and Stiff diagrams to identify water chemistry changes along a flow path and speculate on the possible causes of increased total dissolved solids and ion concentrations.

In part two, students use a ternary diagram to study the transport and natural attenuation of benzene-toluene-xylene (BTX) in an oil spill, seeing how BTX is used for oil spill site characterizations.

Learning Goals

Context for Use

This is the second of nine one-week exercises designed for a senior-level undergraduate lecture/lab hydrogeology course.

Teaching Materials

The following tools and data are required:


The author is seeking feedback from companies that hire students that have gone through the course that this activity is from to see if this training provides a positive impact on job performance.

References and Resources

The activity is from the following article:
See the other eight related activities derived from this article:

Contact the Author

Please contact Ming-Kuo Lee at leeming@mail.auburn.edu with questions or suggestions.

Controlled Vocabulary Terms

Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology:Ground Water
Resource Type: Activities:Lab Activity, Audio/Visual:Maps, Computer Applications, Datasets and Tools:Datasets
Special Interest: Quantitative, Hazards:Oil Spills
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Quantitative Skills: Problem Solving, Graphs
Ready for Use: Ready to Use
Quantitative Skills Activity Type: Lab Activity
Topics: Hydrosphere/Cryosphere:Groundwater
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water, Teach the Earth:Incorporating Societal Issues:Hazards, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/Hydrogeology

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