Apr 02, 2023  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOL 525 - Environmental Geochemistry

Global geochemical cycles, influences of rocks and soils on water chemistry, behavior of isotopes and trace elements. Includes class project studying local environmental geochemistry topic. Three lectures plus one three-hour lab per week. GEOL 425 and GEOL 525 are layered courses; students may not receive credit for both.

Prerequisites: CHEM 181, 181LAB, CHEM 182, and 182LAB.


Learner Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe geochemical cycles of water and carbon in terms of their principle reservoirs, residence times in those reservoir and fluxes between major reservoirs. They can differentiate between long-timescale processes (such as silicate weathering) and short-timescale processes (such as anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2).
  • Have basic laboratory skills necessary to carry out a supervised geochemical study (e.g. can perform Gram titration of waters in field, can collect water samples using clean methods, can measure water content, textures and LOI of soils, etc.).
  • Have basic knowledge of water and soil chemistry, controls on pH, cation and anion concentrations.
  • Explain the role of clays in ion exchange.
  • Understand the role of the oceans in geochemical cycles and as buffers for our environment. They know the controls on ocean chemistry.
  • Be aware of geochemical techniques (isotopes, trace elements, etc.) which might be used to address that problem.
  • Be aware of current topics of research in environmental geochemistry and can read and critically discuss a research article.
  • Gormulate an environmental geochemistry research project, and express it in a concise proposal.

Learner Outcomes Approval Date:

Anticipated Course Offering Terms and Locations:

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