Vibration convection and fossil movement
The materials required for the science fair project:
- 1 transparent fish tank of dimensions 2m x 1m x 1m
- 5 dried chicken drumstick bones
- Loam soil (enough to fill the fish tank up to a height of 750mm)
- Table to support the fish tank
- 1 stopwatch
- 1 metal rod (or metal ruler)
- 1 ruler
- 1 black marker
1. For this science fair project, the independent variable is the environment which will simulate the earthquake zone, which will be a fish tank filled with soil and water. The dependent variable is the vertical displacement of the bones after being subjected to vibration. This is determined by measuring the height of the bones in the soil after applying the vibration. The constants (control variables) are the size of the fish tank, the type of soil used, the size of the bones, the initial height of the bones in the soil and the length of time of the vibration.
2. Place the fish tank on a table. Add soil into the tank until the height of the soil reaches 500mm. Slowly pour 1 liter of tap water over the soil, ensuring that the soil surface stays even.
3. Starting from the left side of the tank, position 5 chicken drumstick bones at the distances of 0mm, 500mm, 1000mm, 1500mm and 2000mm from the left wall of the tank. The last bone will be next to the right side of the tank.
4. Add more soil over the bones until a soil height of 750mm is reached. Slowly pour another 500ml of tap water over the surface of the soil, ensuring the soil surface stays even. Leave the tank on the table for 1 hour for everything to settle.
5. With the help of 2 assistants, shake the table with the fish tank on it for 10 minutes. Ensure that the vibratory movements are both lateral and vertical.
6. Slowly remove the soil, layer by layer, with minimal disturbance to the bones. Once each bone is reached, insert the metal rod into the soil until it touches the bottom of the tank. With the black marker, indicate on the metal rod the depth at which the bone was found. Record the depths for the 5 bones in a table, as shown below.