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This activity allows students to see several key geologic concepts that they will learn in greater detail later in the semester. They compare densities of two different blocks, which serve as proxies for the differences between oceanic and continental crust, and this provides an example of isostasy. They determine sedimentation rates and deduce what type of changes in environment can affect these rates. They determine the relative ages of two different Martian surfaces. Students also get to see hand samples of rock and mineral specimens, and compare hardness and relative sorting. These topics allow students exposure to several different concepts that they will develop a greater appreciation of throughout their courses.
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