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MV0218

Environmental geochemistry

Course evaluation

The course evaluation is now closed

MV0218-20050 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for MV0218

Academic year 2021/2022

Environmental geochemistry (MV0218-20092)

2021-11-02 - 2022-01-16

Academic year 2020/2021

Environmental geochemistry (MV0218-20156)

2020-11-02 - 2021-01-17

Academic year 2019/2020

Environmental geochemistry (MV0218-20103)

2019-11-01 - 2020-01-19

Academic year 2018/2019

Environmental geochemistry (MV0218-20083)

2018-11-06 - 2019-01-20

Syllabus

MV0218 Environmental geochemistry, 15.0 Credits

Miljögeokemi

Subjects

Soil Science Environmental Science

Education cycle

Master’s level

Modules

Title Credits Code
Theory  8.0 0202
Lab and computer exercises  6.0 0203
Seminar 1.0 0204

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.

Language

English

Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to:

• 150 ECTS first-cycle courses, including

• 60 ECTS in a scientific subject such as Biology, Agricultural Science, Soil Science, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science or Technology,

• 15 ECTS Chemistry,

• 15 ECTS Soil Science, Earth Sciences or Biology

and

• a level of English equivalent to upper-seconday-school English (Engelska 6).

Objectives

The overall objective of the course is to provide students with a deeper understanding of the processes that control solubility and transport of metals, nutrients and organic contaminants in soil and water systems, and give an introduction to risk assessment of contaminated soils. The course will provide students with a good theoretical foundation within the subject of soil and water chemistry for further studies at advanced level.

On completion of the course, students will be able to:

• describe how soil mineral and organic material is built up, and how it affects the chemical composition of soil water,

• describe the basic chemical principles controlling solubility of different types of elements and compounds, including organic contaminants, in the soil-water system,

• carry out quantitative calculations for various types of applied soil and water chemistry problems,

• present insight into the methodology used for risk assessment of areas contaminated with heavy metals and/or organic compounds,

• give an overview of common remediation methods used for contaminated soils,

• use some common computer-based geochemical model to quantitatively describe the distribution of elements and compounds in the soil-water system.

Content

The course provides students with knowledge of how basic chemical theory can be applied on different types of soil and water systems, e.g. in environmental risk assessments, environmental monitoring or providing advice on plant nutrition issues. Teaching takes the form of lectures, calculation, computer exercises, laboratory practicals and seminars, where computer exercises, laboratory practicals and seminars are mandatory. The course deals with the following topics:

• characterisation of solid soil components,

• processes in the water phase, and equilibrium with various mineral phases,

• sorption of ions and organic contaminants to soil and sediment materials,

• redox processes and their importance for the solubility of different elements in the soil and water systems,

• acidifying and acid-neutralising processes in soil and water systems,

• geochemical modelling,

• methods for risk assessment of soils contaminated with metals and organic pollutants,

• overview of remediation methods for contaminated soils,

• applications of soil and water chemistry theory within agriculture, forestry and environmental research.

Formats and requirements for examination

The following is required for a pass mark on the course:

• approved written examination,

• passed written assignments,

• approved participation in compulsory exercises.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Soil and Environment

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: MV0205, BI1094 (delvis)

Grading criteria

Grading criteria: Environmental geochemistry, 15 HEC (MV0218), 2021

Objectives

Grade 3 - pass

Grade 4 – pass with credit

Grade 5 – pass with distinction

I. Describe how soil minerals and organic matter are built up, and how they affect the chemical composition of the soil water.

The student should be able to describe

  • the principal structures of silicate and clay minerals;
  • the principles of weathering processes, and the balancing of chemical formulas of weathering reactions;
  • the factors influencing mineral weathering rates and how these affect soil formation and development
  • the chemical composition of soil organic matter and its importance for the soil and water system.

In addition, the student should be able to

  • present a general overview of silicate and clay minerals including their names, chemical formulas and structural build up;

In addition, the student should be able to

  • present a detailed overview of silicate and clay minerals including their names, formulas and structural build up;
  • describe how organic matter interacts with acid and metal ions using chemical equilibria and formulas.

Objectives

Grade 3 - pass

Grade 4 – pass with credit

Grade 5 – pass with distinction

II. Describe basic chemical principles controlling the solid-solution partitioning of inorganic elements and organic pollutants in the soil-water system.

The student should be able to

  • describe the basic principles and concepts of mineral solubility as well as the adsorption of ions and small molecules onto mineral surfaces;
  • describe the basic principles of complex formation in a soil-water solution including the concept of hard and soft metal ions and ligands;
  • make rough estimates through calculations of the distribution of ions and molecules between aqueous soil solution and adsorbed to mineral surfaces;
  • give examples of typical elements in natural systems which illustrate different mechanisms of solubility control;
  • describe the principles of distribution processes of organic pollutants in soil and water system;

The student should have a deeper understanding of:

  • the basic principles of complex formation in a soil-water solution;
  • describe the basic principles of complex formation in a soil-water solution;
  • make predictions through calculations of the distribution of ions and molecules between aqueous soil solution and adsorbed to mineral surfaces;
  • how the solubility of typical elements in natural systems is regulated and controlled;
  • the principles of distribution processes of organic pollutants in soil and water system.

In addition, the student should be able to explain in detail

  • the basic principles and concepts of mineral solubility, adsorption of ions and small molecules onto organo-mineral surfaces;
  • the significance of conditional stability constants of elements, and the expected effects of these constants in natural systems;
  • the principles of distribution processes of organic pollutants in soil and water system.

Objectives

Grade 3 - pass

Grade 4 – pass with credit

Grade 5 – pass with distinction

III. Analyse and quantitatively describe various applied soil and water chemistry problems.

The student should be able to

  • perform calculations on simple systems in terms of mineral solubility, adsorption, complex formation and redox conditions;
  • perform calculations on simple systems in terms of the partitioning of organic pollutants between the solid, solution and gas phases.
  • on a basic level, understand the environmental aspects of applied soil and water chemistry problems from a chemical perspective, including: nutrient leaching from soils, environmental risks from metals, PFAS and microplastics, acidification processes
  • briefly describe the Swedish methodology used for risk assessment of areas contaminated with heavy metals and/or organic compounds;
  • give an overview of common remediation methods used for contaminated soils.

The student should be able to

  • calculate stability constants obtained from experimental data on intermediate systems;
  • perform calculations on intermediate systems in terms of mineral solubility, adsorption, complex formation and redox conditions;
  • perform calculations on intermediate systems in terms of the partitioning of organic pollutants between the solid, solution and gas phases.
  • demonstrate a good ability to analyse the environmental aspects of applied soil and water chemistry problems from a chemical perspective, including: nutrient leaching from soils, environmental risks from metals, PFAS and microplastics, acidification processes

The student should be able to

  • calculate stability constants obtained from experimental data on complex systems;
  • perform calculations on complex systems in terms of mineral solubility, adsorption, complex formation and redox conditions;
  • perform calculations on complex systems in terms of the partitioning of organic pollutants between the solid, solution and gas phases.
  • demonstrate a very good ability to analyse the environmental aspects of applied soil and water chemistry problems from a chemical perspective, including: nutrient leaching from soils, environmental risks from metals, PFAS and microplastics, acidification processes

IV. Use common computer-based geochemical models.

The student should be able to use a computer-based geochemical model and give an overview of its main structure.

The student should be able to use a computer-based geochemical model and explain and discuss in detail its main structure.

The student should be able to use a computer-based geochemical model and reflect on its strengths, weaknesses and limitations.

Specific requirements of grading levels (only applicable on the whole course)

Mark 3 – Pass

  • The student should achieve at least 50% of the maximal number of points of the written exam
  • Participation in the laboratory exercise pH-dependent solubility of metals or phosphorus in soil
  • Compile a satisfactory report of the laboratory exercise pH-dependent solubility of metals or phosphorus in soil.
  • Participation in the computer exercises on Geochemical modelling with Visual MINTEQ with a satisfactorily completed individual assignment
  • Participation in the exercise Fugacity modelling and written report
  • Participation in the exercise Environmental chemistry of PFAS and oral presentation and short written report
  • Oral presentation and short Abstract of the seminar task “Research themes”

Mark 4 – Pass with credit

  • All requirements mentioned above (Mark 3) must be achieved.
  • Compile a satisfactory report of the laboratory exercise pH-dependent solubility of metals or phosphorus in soil submitted before the deadline (deadline is announced in Canvas).
  • The student should achieve at least 65% of the maximal number of points of the written exam.

Mark 5 – Pass with Distinction

  • All requirements mentioned above (Mark 4) must be achieved.
  • The student should achieve at least 80% of the maximal number of points of the written exam.

Specific requirements for passing the course parts (no grading)

Theory (8 credits)

  • The student should achieve at least 50% of the maximal number of points of the written exam

Lab and computer exercises (6 credits)

  • Participation in the laboratory exercises on pH-dependent solubility of metals or phosphorus in soil
  • Compile a satisfactory report of the laboratory exercises on pH-dependent solubility of metals or phosphorus in soil.
  • Participation in the computer exercises on Geochemical modelling with Visual MINTEQ and completion of individual assignment
  • Participation in the exercise Fugacity modelling and written report
  • Participation in the exercise Environmental chemistry of PFAS and oral presentation and short written report

Calculation exercises, seminars (1 credit)

  • Oral presentation and Abstract of the seminar task “Research themes”

Litterature list

The main textbook we use is:

"Soil and Water Chemistry: An integrative Approach" (Michael E. Essington).

We use paper versions of the second edition, but the first edition is available for free online and differences with the first edition are insignificant.

Other important literature:

Gustafsson, J.P., Jacks, G., Simonsson, M. Nilsson, I. 2005. Soil and water chemistry. Compendium. 119 pp.

• Report 4639. Swedish Environmental Protection Agency (Naturvårdsverket), 1997. Development of generic guideline values. Model and data used for generic guideline values for contaminated soils in Sweden. https://www.naturvardsverket.se/Om-Naturvardsverket/Publikationer/ISBN/4000/91-620-4639-x/

Others:

• Schwartzenbach, R.P., Escher, B.I., Fenner, K., Hofstetter, T.B., Johnson, C.A., von Gunten, U., Wehrli, B. 2006. The challenge of micropollutants in aquatic systems. Science, 310, 1072-1077.

• Campos Pereira, H., Ullberg, M., Kleja, D.B., Gustafsson, J.P., Ahrens, L. 2018. Sorption of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) to an organic soil horizon - Effect of cation composition and pH. Chemosphere 207: 183-191.

• UNIDO. Survey of Soil Remediation Technology. http://www.unido.org/

• Dermont et al. 2008. Metal-Contaminated Soils: Remediation Practices and Treatment Technologies. Practice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management, 12:188-209.

• Dermont et al. 2008. Soil washing for metal removal: A review of physical/chemical technologies and field applications. Journal of Hazardous Materials 152: 1–31.

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38054 SEK Cycle: Master’s level
Subject: Soil Science Environmental Science
Course code: MV0218 Application code: SLU-20050 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Soil and Environment Pace: 100%