PROJECT EXPLORE INSTRUCTIONAL MODULE #3 FOCUS QUESTION: WHAT NATURAL RESOURCES DOES ANTARCTICA HAVE? ............................................................................ Keith Randa Apple Valley High School Apple Valley, Minnesota Rob Lonning University of Minnesota Minneapolis, Minnesota BACKGROUND INFORMATION Antarctica is the southern-most continent on the Earth and the continent that we know the least about geologically. Two factors make it difficult to study the geology and mineral resources of Antarctica. One, the cold temperatures and strong winds, along with the 24 hour period of darkness during the Antarctic winter, make it a very difficult place to work and collect geological data. Two, less than 3% of Antarctica is ice-free, which makes the study of geology of Antarctica very difficult. GEOLOGY AND PLATE TECTONICS What we know about the geology of Antarctica comes from studying the small percentage of the rocks that are exposed either at the coast or the tops of mountain ranges which extend above the ice. Our understanding of the geology of the Antarctic region is based on the theory of plate tectonics. Plate tectonics is the theory that the earth's crust is made up of a series of pieces. Each piece is called a plate. These plates float on top of the semi-fluid mantle like rafts. The mantle is believed to have convection cells within it which move these plates around. Because of the theory of plate tectonics, most geologists believe that up until about 180 million years ago, South America, Africa, India, Australia, and New Zealand were all joined together in one very large mass called Gondwana. One piece of evidence that supports the idea of this large land mass is that all of these continents fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. It has also been found that when these continents are placed together they share matching fossils, rock types, and land features. The best explanation for this similarity is that the rocks, fossils and land features formed when the continents were joined together. When Gondwana started to break up, the land masses gradually moved into the positions that we see them today. This idea that all the land masses were formed together allows us to make some assumptions about the geology of Antarctica even though very little of the crust of Antarctica is exposed. ANTARCTICA MINERAL KNOWLEDGE AND ECONOMICS Much of what we know about the geology of Antarctica and about the minerals present is based on what we know about the geology of South America, South Africa, and Australia. For example, if minerals found in the rocks that were formed before the break up of Gondwana are found in the mountains of South America, then we assume that we will find the same minerals in the mountains of Antarctica. This is because we can assume that they were formed at the same time and with the same basic processes. Many people believe that Antarctica is a place of unlimited resource wealth. But the harsh climate, short work season, and thick ice make the recovery of these resources very difficult. The economic value of a resource is determined by the current market value of the resource, the cost of moving the resource to where it is needed, and the cost of moving equipment and workers to recover the resource. The technology to remove and transport mineral resources has not yet been developed but as supplies worldwide are depleted, it will become more cost effective. There are two opposing views about the feasibility of resource recovery in Antarctica. One side is that by the time it is feasible to use an Antarctica resource, alternative sources will exist. Instead of using petroleum for energy there will be development of fusion reactors, solar, or geothermal energy. The other view is that increasing economic pressure will force mineral and petroleum exploration into more and more remote regions as resources are gradually depleted in other lands. ANTARCTICA RESOURCES ICE: One of Antarctica's most important resources is ice. It is said that Antarctica's ice accounts for 90% of the worlds fresh water. As a resource it has potential as a fresh water supply. Some people have considered towing icebergs from Antarctica to parts of the world in need of fresh water. At present the delivery costs make these ventures unprofitable. Another possible use of the ice on Antarctica is as a long term deep freeze storage site for grain and other foods. Again the costs of shipping and handling are prohibitive. COAL: There are coal deposits found along the coast of Antarctica. It is also very wide spread throughout the Transantarctic Mountains. These deposits were formed between 35 million and 55 million years ago when Antarctica was covered by ancient swamps. Coal forms in swamps as plants die and are buried before they can be completely decomposed. They are then covered by other sediments such as sand and mud. This burial allows the hydrocarbons in the coal to be preserved for future generations to use. Coal is used as a source of direct heat and also to generate electricity in coal burning power plants. The main problem of developing coal in Antarctica is that the cost of mining and delivering the coal is so much higher than the cost of coal in the rest of the world market. It may be possible for coal to be used in some small research stations for a source of heat. PETROLEUM: Petroleum deposits are formed when plants and small animal remains are buried in a marine environment by sand and mud. These remains then build up as hydrocarbons and are trapped by a layer of rock that the hydrocarbons cannot pass through. These cap rocks then store the petroleum underground until it is pumped out by wells. At this time there has been no petroleum exploration attempted and there are no known petroleum resources in Antarctica. Most of the speculation about petroleum in Antarctica comes from finding petroleum on the other Southern continents which were at one time connected together. The petroleum deposits thought to be on the offshore regions of Antarctica would probably be most feasible to obtain although they would have to be exceptionally large to be considered for exploitation because of the following enormous exploration and development problems: -Deeper water over the continental shelves; -The presence of sea ice and icebergs; -Short work season and hostile climate. Comparisons with other Gondwana continents suggest the existence of petroleum reserves in the interior of Antarctica. But these lie below the thick ice, ruling out development. This is due not only to the thickness of the ice but also the fact that it is sliding slowly towards the coast. This makes drilling through the ice and into the rock very difficult. METALLIC MINERALS: Mineral resources have not been found in great quantities so far due to the small amount of rock that is exposed. It is believed that since the other continents that were once attached to Antarctica to form Gondwana have metallic and nonmetallic minerals, that Antarctica probably has similar minerals. It is also known that rock layers such as those in Antarctica commonly contain large amounts of cobalt, chromium, nickel, vanadium, copper, iron and platinum group minerals. The search for sizable concentrations of metallic minerals below the ice will be a difficult prospecting venture which will require costly geophysical and geochemical surveying and core drilling. Geologists have found small deposits of minerals in Antarctica but these deposits are low in quality and occur in widely scattered places. The peninsula seems to have the highest probability of containing economic base-metal deposits. Most of the minerals were formed or deposited during the formation of Antarctica and the other continents that made up Gondwana. There are three basic process which could have formed these minerals: HYDROTHERMAL: When fluids such as water are heated by the earth's interior, they can carry dissolved minerals in their fluid state such as quartz, gold, etc. When the solution of liquid and dissolved minerals cools in a new environment, the minerals are deposited as a solid. (The same way that candy forms crystals as it cools and hardens.) MAGMATIC SEGREGATION: As liquid rock (magma) cools, the minerals in it separate. This is because the minerals have different densities and will separate with the denser minerals towards the bottom. (Think of how a bottle of Italian dressing separates into layers.) This separates the minerals into different layers resulting in concentrations of minerals in different places as the magma cools and hardens. SEDIMENTATION: As the earth is worn down and broken into pieces by wind, water, ice and other weathering processes, the pieces of the earth are carried by water into the oceans where they are deposited in layers. Since the pieces are different sizes and have different solubilities in water, they settle to the bottom and form different layers. This results in concentrations of the minerals separated into layers. Below is a table which list the minerals found in Antarctica, how they were formed, and how they are used. MINERAL FORMATION USE Iron Sedimentation Steel making Cobalt Hydrothermal Petroleum refining, pigments Chromium Magmatic Heat & corrosion resistant steel segregation Nickel Magmatic Stainless steel, heat and segregation corrosion-resistant steel Copper Hydrothermal Alloys with tin (Bronze) and Zinc Sedimentation Electrical equipment(Brass) Platinum Magmatic Chemical and metallurgic segregation industries, jewelry Manganese Sedimentation Steel making Uranium Hydrothermal Nuclear fuel, Groundwater Explosives Lead Hydrothermal Storage batteries, gasoline, construction TOURISM Many people feel that the scenic resources have the greatest potential for near future economic development. Already there are a variety of cruises along the coastal waters of Antarctica. The most popular are education/expedition cruises where stops are made at research stations and animal communities along the coast. There are also a few government cruises that go to local research stations to visit and observe. Some airborne tourism takes place, mainly over the peninsula, but there are the problems of no international air traffic control, virtually no navigational aids, and blizzards with whiteouts. These problems and a few crashes, in which search and rescue have been difficult, have limited the pleasure flights over Antarctica. There are also expeditions by people who see Antarctica as the last frontier; one of the last places that they can test themselves against nature. In the past, expeditions with limited knowledge and experience in Antarctica have not come equipped for the conditions they experience. If problems arise there is often no system set up for rescue or resupply. Some visionaries see an all weather landing strip, with one or more hotels near by, and possibly a center for alpine skiing and mountaineering as the next development in Antarctica tourism. There are many problems with tourism in Antarctica. There is no local populace to benefit economically from it. Because the environment is so fragile, tourism can do a lot of damage and there is no way to monitor the impact on the environment. They have found that due to the harsh conditions, the plants that do live on Antarctica are easily damaged by the human traffic. They have also found that penguins' nesting is disturbed by human contact. There is also the problem of waste disposal from those that already live on Antarctica and from tourists. Tourism interferes with research at the stations by demands for visits and by using station's resources to assist in rescue of expeditions. There are also no international agreements for legal jurisdiction and handling of civil and criminal cases that would arise as more people visit Antarctica. The treaty regulations recognize the right of tourists to visit the area but do not address these problems. OBJECTIVES: PROCESS OBJECTIVES 1-The student will be able to describe Antarctica's resources. 2-The student will be able to explain how the resources are formed. 3-The student will be able to discuss the problems of economic recovery of Antarctica resources. CONTENT OBJECTIVES 1-The students will be know that the geology and mineral resources of Antarctica are determined from limited rock samples and inferences from plate tectonics. 2-The student will understand how to evaluate the economic feasibility of trying to recover Antarctica's resources. 3-The student will know that each of the following is a resource of Antarctica and how each resource is formed. -Ice -Coal -Petroleum -Metallic minerals 4-The student will understand the problems associated with the recovery of the following resources: -Ice -Coal -Petroleum -Metallic minerals 5-The student will know that tourism is one of Antarctica's resources. 6-The student will understand what types of tourism takes place in Antarctica and the problems associated with each. EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS Paper, Writing Utensils, Library or Encyclopedia, Construction paper, Scissors, Color pencils, Rulers, Dictionary, Resources from Learning Link, Antarctica resource puzzle sheet, Glue or Tape. EXPLORATION/ PRIOR KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENT This is an activity designed to stimulate student interest in the topic and provide an indication of students' prior knowledge of the topic. The information is important for determining the starting point and level of difficulty for instruction. As a first activity, have students answer the following questions: 1-Draw a map of the earth showing North America and Antarctica. Or describe in words where Antarctica is compared to where you live. 2-Describe what you think Antarctica is like compared to where you live (weather, land, number of people, activities). 3-What is a natural resource? 4-List three examples of natural resources that you have in your community. 5-List five natural resources that you think Antarctica has. 6-Explain how these resources from number 5 where formed? 7-What are some uses of the natural resources that you listed in number 5? CONCEPT INVENTION ACTIVITY Here are few suggested ways to present the background materials for this module. 1-If you have an audio visual program of Antarctica, show it to your students so they can get a picture of Antarctica in their minds. 2-Have your students go to the library and look in books or magazines for pictures of Antarctica to share with the class. Have students bring pictures from home that they may have of Antarctica. 3-Give a lecture and set of notes on the Resources of Antarctica using the background information for a reference. 4-Have the students read the background material and answer the questions on the Resources of Antarctica Worksheet. APPLICATION ACTIVITIES Select one or more of these activities to provide students practice applying their new knowledge. 1-Exploiting Antarctica's Resources: Is There Another Solution? In this activity students pick one of Antarctica's resources and research how our society uses that resource. They then try to formulate a plan to develop alternatives to using that resource or if alternatives don't exist they then come up with ways to conserve that resource. 2-Antarctica Resources group project: Groups of students research a resource and report either in writing or orally to the class the following information. -How resource is used. -How resource is mined or recovered around the world. -Some environmental impacts of recovering that resource. -Design some possible methods of recovering that resource in Antarctica. -Describe some possible environmental Impacts of recovering that resource in Antarctica. -Explain how you are going to eliminate or minimize the Environmental impacts caused by recovery. 3-The Antarctica Resource Puzzle. In this activity students will piece together Gondwana and see if they can determine where the resources in Antarctica are located. This will be based on the theory of plate tectonics and make the assumption that all of the resources were formed before the large land mass broke up. APPLICATION ACTIVITY #1 RESOURCES OF ANTARCTICA WORKSHEET NAME: PER: TEACHER: 1-Where is Antarctica? 2-What makes the geology and the mineral resources of Antarctica so difficult to determine? 3-How do the continents of South Africa, South America and Australia help us determine if there are minerals in Antarctica? 4-If we found gold in the mountains in South America why can we assume that we will find gold in the mountains of Antarctica? 5-What are natural resources? 6-What factors are controlling whether it is worth the money to recover the resources in Antarctica? 7-What are the two opposing views when it comes to whether it will be worth the effort and money to recover the resources in Antarctica? 8-Why is the search for sizable mineral concentrations in Antarctica so difficult? 9-Explain the three basic process for the formation of metallic minerals. 10-What are some ways that tourist can visit Antarctica? 11-What are some problems associated with tourism in Antarctica? Fill out the table below giving the following information: -How resources is formed (Formation) -How the resource is used or could be used. (Use) -Problem of recovery of the resource? (Problems) Resource Formation Use Problems Ice Coal Petroleum Iron Cobalt Chromium Nickel Copper Platinum Uranium Lead Tourism APPLICATION ACTIVITY #2 ANTARCTICA RESOURCES: ANOTHER SOLUTION? PURPOSE: To have students find out how our society would use the potential resources from Antarctica and to come up with alternatives to using those resources or ways to conserve them. Background: Every day we consume natural resources. From the water we drink, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and all of the other objects that we find important to own in our society. Because of the use of resources in our everyday lives we will, at some point, run out of our current supply of resources. Because of this many people view Antarctica as the next place to go to obtain needed resources. In this activity you will look at the resources that Antarctica is supposed to have, and look at h-ow they would be used by our society. You will then come up with alternative resources or ways to conserve them so that we will not have to use Antarctica's resources. PROCEDURE: 1-Your teacher will assign you a resource from Antarctica. MY RESOURCE IS: 2-Write a report about your resource using the following outline. A-Name of the resource. B-How the resource is formed. C-Estimate or find out how long it takes to form the resource. D-Where does our society currently get the resource from? (i.e., coal from Montana.) List as many as possible. E-How does our society use the resource. List as many as possible (i.e., petroleum used in cars, to make plastics). F- Problems of recovering the resource from Antarctica. G-Come up with alternative resources to use to do the same thing. (i.e. paper plates instead of foam plates) or come up with ways to conserve on the resource. (i.e., use metal washable utensils instead of plastic.) RESOURCES: BACKGROUND INFORMATION FROM THIS MODULE: -Encyclopedias -Library books -Atlases -Science Text books -Your teacher APPLICATION ACTIVITY #3 ANTARCTICA RESOURCE GROUP PROJECT PURPOSE: To allow students to explore how resources are recovered around the world and to apply that knowledge to Antarctica. BACKGROUND: Mineral resource recovery in Antarctica is different than it is in the rest of the world because of the special conditions that exist in Antarctica. The first problem is that the amount of daylight in Antarctica is not the same year round. In the summer they have 24 hours of daylight and in the winter they have 24 hours of night. The weather also presents problems. Along the coast of Antarctica the temperature ranges in winter from 32 degrees F. to -40 degrees. Inland the temperatures range from -40 degrees to below -100 degrees . There are also great winds which blow the snow into whiteout conditions making seeing more than a foot in front of your face a problem. The precipitation varies greatly from less than 2 two inches per year inland, to about 35 inches per year along the coast. The ice also presents problems. The ice of Antarctica is moving by the force of gravity downhill towards the coast. It is basically a large continental glacier. Drilling a hole or digging a mine shaft is difficult due to the fact that these holes will need to bend and shift with the ice. PROCEDURE: Your group will be assigned a specific resource by your teacher and you will either give an oral presentation (6-8 minute) or write a written (4-6 page) report about the recovery of that resource in Antarctica. Your report or presentation should follow the outline below. 1-Name of the resource. 2-How the resource is used. 3-How the resource is mined or recovered from the earth in other locations. 4-List some of the environmental impacts from mining or recovering this resource from present methods. 5-Design some possible methods to mine or recover that resource taking into account the problems talked about in the background material above. 6-Describe some possible environmental impacts of recovering your resource in Antarctica. 7-Explain ways to minimize or eliminate the environmental impacts from recovering your resource. SUGGESTIONS: Do #1-4 above first. Split up the work among group members to share the work load. Use the following resources: -Books from the library -Encyclopedias -Newspaper or magazine articles -Articles from LEARNING LINK -Each other -There may not be a correct answer for #5-7. Do some creative thinking based on #1-4 and the background material. Your answers should make sense and be based on sound ideas and reasoning. BE CREATIVE -Bounce your ideas off other group members. NOTE: To be sure that all members of the group are participating and helping on the project, make sure your do the following: -All members of the group should speak in presentation. -The written report is split into parts and everyone should write a part. Your group project is due on (DATE). APPLICATION ACTIVITY #4 ANTARCTICA RESOURCE PUZZLE PURPOSE: To see how the theory of plate tectonics can be used to find the location of resources under the ice and around the edge of Antarctica. BACKGROUND: The theory of plate tectonics states that the earth's crust is made up of a series of pieces called plates. These plates slide and move as they "float" on top of the earth's mantle. At one time all of the continents formed one large continent. This supercontinent was called Gondwana. Since Australia, South America, Africa, India and Antarctica were all connected at one time, we can make some assumptions about Antarctica's mineral resources. By examining the types and locations of minerals presently found in Australia, South America, Africa, India, and by putting the continents back together as they were 200 million years ago, we can estimate where those minerals should be found in Antarctica today. PROCEDURE: 1-Carefully cut out the continents from the top of the Antarctica resource puzzle sheet. Be sure you save the key to the minerals; Do not throw it away. 2-Using the diagram of the continents from the late Jurrasic found on the bottom of the Antarctica resource puzzle sheet, place your cut out continents in the same location as shown in the late Jurassic. The continents will not fit exactly together due to the continental shelves that are under water, but are a part of the continents. This is how the continents were connected during this time. 3-Tape or glue all of the continents in the position that you placed them for #3. Do not tape or glue Antarctica. 4-Place Antarctica in its position. Notice that all of the other continents have their resources marked by different symbols. 5-You should now try to make a model of where the resources will be in Antarctica. Remember the following: -The resources were formed at the same time. -They seem to form in bands. -Connect similar resources across continents if possible. 6-Draw and label on Antarctica where you think the coal, oil, gas, and metallic minerals would be located. 7-Attach Antarctica to the sheet and answer the summary questions. ANTARCTICA RESOURCE PUZZLE SUMMARY QUESTIONS 1-What resources did you think would be found on Antarctica? 2-How did each of these resources form? 3-What kind of environment was needed to form these resources? 4-Is the environment that you talked about in #3 different then the environment found in Antarctica today? Explain? Give a reason why the environment could be different than it is today in Antarctica. 5-What assumptions did we have to make in using this method to find the resources under the Ice of Antarctica? 6-In the space below do the following: -Draw a large supercontinent. Shade and label some resources on it. -Draw a sequence of pictures showing how the large continents would split up and form four small continents. Shade and label the resources on each small continent. EVALUATION ANTARCTICA RESOURCES TEST NAME: PER: Part 1: Multiple choice. Circle the correct answer. 1-How much of the surface of Antarctica is exposed above the Ice? a. 5% b. 10% c. 25% d. 3% 2. How much of the worlds fresh water is trapped in The Ice of Antarctica. a. 85% b. 90% c. 25% d. 63% 3-Much of what we know about the geology of Antarctica is because of: a. Studying the exposed rock of Antarctica b. The geology of North America c. The geology of the southern continents d. All of the above. 4-Coal and oil are both formed by: a. Living things being buried by lava. b. Living things that die and decompose. c. Living things being buried under sediments. d. Living things being dissolved in hot water. Part 2: Match the resource with its use in our society. 1-Lead a-Steel making 2-Copper b-Gasoline 3-Iron c-Storage batteries 4-Coal d-Electrical equipment 5-Petroleum e-Nuclear fuel 6-Uranium f-Fuel for heat Part 3: Essay 1-What are three problems with tourism in Antarctica? 2-List four problems of trying to recover resources in Antarctica. 3-What are natural resources? 4-Pick two resources of Antarctica and explain the following: -Name of the resource -How the resource is formed -How we use the resource -Problems of recovering that resource from Antarctica.