Build a Model Aquifer

The United Nations includes clean water and sanitation in its sustainable development goals. Many places face severe water shortages. The Geoscientists Without Borders® (GWB) program supports teams to collaborate with communities to solve problems, including water shortages.

GWB scientists use geophysical techniques to find underground layers of sediments or rock that contain enough water to be drilled for water wells. These kinds of rock layers are called aquifers. In this activity you will build a model aquifer.

How Natural Gas Forms

In this activity, you’ll make a model of how natural gas might be formed from decaying organic material.

Surface Processes

Part A: Younger Deposits

Active erosion wears away surface rocks while deposition piles loose sediments on top of existing surfaces. Over time loose sediments may be compacted and cemented, which forms sedimentary rocks. Younger rocks and sediments are also shown on the geologic map. Let’s look for evidence of young rocks and active deposition using the map and other tools.

Surficial Features

Various types of sediments, or “surficial features,” lie above the bedrock in many places. The following activity shows how a visualization map of surficial features can be used to consider the interactions of the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere.

Understanding Paleoclimate

Climate scientists study evidence in the geologic record, such as fossils, to figure out what climate was like over hundreds of thousands of years (“paleoclimate”). One fossil they use is pollen, a part of a flowering plant that helps make a seed. Pollen can be blown into lakes, where it is preserved in sediment. Pollen from spruces, which do well in cold climates, can suggest what climate was like when spruce pollen was deposited.

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