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In this activity, students are led through some introductory lecture material on rare earth elements, distribution coefficients, and the derivation of equations relating element concentrations in solids and liquids during processes of both equilibrium and fractional melting and crystallization. This lecture material is interspersed with class discussion questions that seek to actively query the students' stepwise understanding of concepts. The activity culminates in the students' construction of rare earth element diagrams for rock samples, a fractional crystallization numerical model (e.g. a spreadsheet) for forward modeling and comparison to data, and an equilibrium modal melting model, again for comparison to a real data set.
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