Postgraduate Course: Environmental Geochemistry (PGGE11172)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This course consists of 10 x 2 hour sessions. The lectures cover the main characteristics and geochemical processes of soils, a fundamental treatment of acid-base equilibria in aquatic systems, and an integrated approach to redox and complexation equilibria in soil waters. The other sessions are devoted to discussion of case studies which provide 'real-world' application of the theory covered in the lectures and to student presentations and problem-solving workshops.
Characterisation of soils and sediments
Soil properties, erosion and forensic science
Mineral surface properties and cation exchange capacity
Instrumental methods for mineral characterisation in environmental samples
Characterisation of natural organic matter in soils and sediments
Transformations of organic matter: formation of fossil fuels
Interaction of contaminants with mineral and organic matter in soils and sediments
Introduction to aquatic systems and acid-base equilibria
Problem-solving ¿ soils/sediments; Excel spreadsheets for acid-base diagrams
Feed forward ¿ oral presentations
Acid-base equilibria in natural waters
Importance of alkalinity for determining dissolved inorganic carbon content of waters
Redox equilibria in natural waters
Importance of redox equilibria for remediation of contaminated urban environments
Complexation equilibria in natural waters
Importance of speciation for human health and for remediation of contaminated soils
Examples - aquatic systems
Feed forward - written assignment
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| There are no pre-requisites but some chemical knowledge is recommended.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Written assignment of 2000 words (75% of total assessment)
Oral presentation (25% of total assessment)
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- An enhanced understanding of the composition of soils and the main geochemical processes leading to soil formation.
- ¿ an appreciation of the how contaminants interact with soil components and how this may affect their mobility and bioavailability
- An understanding of the chemical equilibrium approach to determine speciation in aquatic systems.
- The ability to interpret pe-pH predominance and speciation diagrams.
- Improved skills in interpreting geochemical research findings and in verbal and written presentation of geochemical information.
|Principles of Environmental Chemistry, R.M. Harrison (Ed), Royal Society of Chemistry, 2007. Chapter 3.|
Environmental and Low Temperature Geochemistry, P. Ryan, Wiley Blackwell, 2014.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Margaret Graham
Tel: (0131 6)50 4767
|Course secretary||Ms Heather Dyson
Tel: (0131 6)51 7126