Environmental Geochemistry 2023-24
School Of Natural Sciences
Module - Semester 1
Major topics in the module may include:
- Context and major concepts: key terminology, introduction to the primary and secondary environments and natural elemental abundance, importance of mineralization.
- Geochemical behaviour in the secondary environment, cations and valency, processes of sorption, importance of pH and Eh.
- Natural (geogenic) release of metals to the environment: processes of physical, biological and chemical weathering, volcanic activity. Determining `background' metal concentrations. Mapping of environmental geochemistry and the use of geochemical maps.
- Human activities as sources of metals to the environment: mining, smelting, petrol combustion, waste incineration, use of sewage sludge.
- Geochemistry and human health: toxicity and deficiency.
- The importance of the fluvial environment in pollutant dispersal and storage. Geochemical timetombs.
- Accurately explain elemental behaviour in the secondary environment.
- Analyse geochemical data using appropriate statistical techniques and draw appropriate conclusions.
- Evaluate and exemplify the role of human activity and natural processes in releasing elements into the environment.
- Explain the role of environmental geochemistry in influencing human health.