ConcepTest: Ocean Element Profiles - 2

Jenny Fisher, University of Wollongong Australia, jennyf AT uow DOT edu DOT au
Questions used in MARE200 Introduction to Oceanography (2nd year undergraduate).

Initial Publication Date: June 9, 2015


Which element could have a depth profile in the ocean that looks like this?

A. It probably has a source from the atmosphere
B. It is probably an essential nutrient for phytoplankton 
C. It probably has a source from ocean sediments

Student Responses:

If you would like to help acquire more Before and After statistics for this example, please contact the author.

No data yet. The correct responses are A and C. The elevated surface concentrations are indicative of a surface source, probably the atmosphere (A), and although it is scavenged at mid-depths the elevated deep concentrations may indicate a sediment source (C). Phytoplankton utilization (B) would leave to surface depletion, not seen. This question assumes a clicker system that allows multiple simultaneous responses.

References and Notes:

Sarmiento, J.L. & N. Gruber (2006) Ocean Biogeochemical Dynamics. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 528 pp.

The use of ConcepTests and Peer Instruction is discussed in detail on the ConcepTest page.

McConnell, D.A., Steer, D.N. and Owens, K.A., 2003, Assessment and Active Learning Strategies for Introductory Geology Courses, Journal of Geoscience Education, 51(2), 205-216.

McConnell, D.A., Steer et al., 2006, Using Conceptests to Assess and Improve Student Conceptual Understanding in Introductory Courses, Journal of Geoscience Education, (54(1), 61-68.