Undergraduate Course: Environmental Geochemistry of the Earth's Surface (EASC08024)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course focuses on geochemistry of natural waters as imprinted by its interaction with local geology, biology and during mixing with sea water. It takes an integrated view of the chemical environments of natural waters and the processes that govern them.
Lecture suite: Controls on geochemistry of natural waters
Introduction, course rationale and environmental context (1) BTN
Controls on the composition of natural waters and classification (2) BTN
Forms of natural dissolved substances in natural waters (3) BTN
Colloids/ mineral surface chemistry surface adsorption reactions (4) BTN
Energy demand for geochemical reactions, reaction pathways and rate determining reactions (5) BTN
Sources of energy for natural reactions in the natural environments (6) BTN
Autotrophic Metabolism: Living off sunlight and inorganic substances (7) - GLC
Heterotrophic metabolism: Living off organic compounds (8) GLC
Organic matter cycling in natural environments (9-11) GLC
Estuarine Circulation (12) RSG
Estuarine Sedimentation (13) RSG
Estuarine Chemistry: Basics (14) RSG
Estuarine Chemistry: Metals (15) RSG
Estuarine Chemistry: Carbon (16) RSG
Estuarine Chemistry: Nitrogen (17) RSG
Estuarine Human Impacts/Exam Overview (18) RSG
Field & Data module: Sediment and mine water geochemistry
Environmental sampling and analysis (20) BTN & RSG
Designing a field campaign
Geochemical data analysis and interpretation
ci: Bio-elements and isotopes 3 hrs
cii: Major and Trace elements 3hrs
ciii: geochemical modelling of porewater profiles
Minewater pollution and treatment (21) (BTN)
Minewater generation, chemistry and classification
Treatment options and design
Weekend residential field trip, data synthesis and reporting (BTN/RSG/GLC).
The course focusses on geochemistry of natural water as imprinted by its interaction with local geology. It takes an integrated view of natural and biological (anthropogenic) interactions that shape the earth's surface.Significantly, the approach is based on integrating theoretical geochemistry with practical skills such as (i) data processing and statistical analysis, (ii) geochemical modelling, (iii) environmental remediation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
|| It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed
Earth Dynamics (EASC08001) AND
Evolution of the Living Earth (EASC08023)
||Other requirements|| Higher Chemistry
|Additional Costs|| Three day fieldtrip to the Lake District. Please note, the School subsidy of providing 50% of the cost applies to core courses only, students taking field courses as an elective pay the full cost.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Course Start Date
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 20,
Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 18,
Fieldwork Hours 16,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2,
Formative Assessment Hours 2,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Written Exam: 50%, Course Work: 50 % (35% for lab reports and 15% for fieldtrip report), Practical Exam: 0%.
There will be an exam in December consisting of a mixture of short answer questions and essay questions. The course work will be based on written reports on each of the practicals carried out during laboratory sessions, plus a 2500 word report synthesising and interpreting data collected during the Keswick weekend fieldtrip.
Both Laboratory and Fieldwork reports should be submitted as a single document by 12noon on the Thursday of week 9.
||The course includes laboratory practical sessions for which you will submit written reports. The first of these will be used for formative feedback to allow you to improve on subsequent reports. You will also receive on-going feedback from demonstrators during and after practical sessions.
We plan to hold 1-2 tutorials during exam revision season. During these sessions, we will review the type of questions likely to come up in the exam and discuss how best to tackle them.
In semester 2, the course team will be available to discuss examination scripts.
Examples of feedback can be found here: http://www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/geosciences/teaching-organisation/staff/feedback-and-marking
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||2:00|
|Resit Exam Diet (August)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Consolidate knowledge of chemical concepts in Environmental Geochemistry
- Integrate theoretical concepts with their practical applications
- Design and carry out a sampling campaign for environmental analysis
- Acquire skills in geochemical speciation modelling
- Be cognisant of skills in Technical report writing, critical appraisal of analytical data and accounting for uncertainties when drawing conclusions, appreciation of assumptions required for modelling.
|D. Langmuir: Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry|
J.I. Drever: Geochemistry of Natural Waters
J.E. Andrews et al: An Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Field design and sampling
Laboratory analysis and statistical data analysis
Geochemical speciation modelling
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Two lectures per week. One practical per week from weeks 1-5. One computer workshop per week in weeks 6 and 7.
|Keywords||Environmental geochemistry,Earth's Surface,Aqueous environments,biogeochemistry,minewater chemis
|Course organiser||Dr Bryne Ngwenya
Tel: (0131 6)50 8524
|Course secretary||Mrs Nicola Clark
Tel: (0131 6)50 4842