Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence for how the uneven distributions of Earth's mineral, energy, and groundwater resources are the result of past and current geoscience processes.
Investigate different types of soil by using a core sample.
Abundant oil and natural gas form only where conditions in the Earth are just right. Doing this investigation will help you understand how geoscientists identify and explore petroleum-rich reserves.
Natural gas, which is mostly methane, is an energy resource used for generating electricity and heating, powering transportation, and manufacturing products. Right now, one-quarter of the world’s energy comes from natural gas. In this investigation, you will make a simple model of how gases can form from decaying material. You will also explore the effects of temperature on gas formation.
Discuss how a 3-D model illustrates the geology of oil deposits. What challenges do you think petroleum geologists must overcome to recover oil?
What factors affect how easily a fluid can move through sediments? How is this flow rate connected to oil production? In this investigation, you will explore the permeabilities of different materials. You will then use your observations to determine what affects permeability and how this might relate to oil production.
Petroleum geologists play a vital role in locating energy resources. They use a variety of methods to collect the data they need to find reservoirs of oil and natural gas. When they find these reservoirs, petroleum geologists need to calculate their volume. They also need to estimate how much they can recover (remove) from the reservoir. This helps them to determine the possible value of the discovery. By using a model, this investigation will help you to understand the physical relationships between natural gas, oil, and water in a reservoir and how these relationships can affect recovery.
Discover more about soil properties in this excellent outdoor activity from the National Park Service!