​Env Geochem 314 Environmental Geochemistry

Prof. A. Roychoudhury

Course Synopsis

The following topics will be covered during the course of this module

  • Review of chemical principles

  • Environmental Soil Chemistry

    • Weathering and Soil Formation, Chemical and physical weathering, Classification of soils, Chemical evolution of soils

    • Contaminants in soils and sediments, Mater variables controlling contaminant chemistry, Inorganic contaminants, Organic contaminants

    • Reactions at the solid-water interface, What is adsorption, What causes adsorption and what properties of solids affect adsorption, Various models to describe adsorption – fundamental assumptions in the model, How to calculate adsorption coefficient and what does it tell us

  • Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry

    • Introduction to hydrogeochemistry and hydrologic cycle

    • Evolution of water chemistry: Groundwater/surface water/rain water

    • Contamination of groundwater

    • Sampling and monitoring

    • Modeling Contaminant transport processes in aquifers

    • The groundwater geochemistry of waste disposal facilities

    • Acid mine drainage

    • Eutrophication of water bodies

    • Environmental management of wetlands

    • Salinization and saline environments

    • The medical geochemistry of Earth materials

  • Atmospheric Chemistry

    • Evolution and physics of the Atmosphere

    • Atmospheric pollution, air quality and health

    • Sources, transformation and sinks of pollutants in the atmosphere

Course Goals

The course goal is to develop critical thinking while assessing environmental processes

Course Outcomes

  • You will learn when and how to apply the geochemical principles learnt in OGC214 to decipher natural and anthropogenic processes that shape up our modern and ancient environments.

  • You will learn sampling and monitoring techniques that are used to assess environmental processes in geosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere.

  • You will learn about chemical speciation and how various species are transported or transformed in different reservoirs

  • You will learn in detail about specific environmental problems that one encounters in modern world

Study Materials and Textbooks

Reference Books:

  • W Stumm and J J Morgan, 1996. Aquatic Chemistry: Chemical Equilibria and Rates in Natural Waters, John Wiley & Sons, New York

  • J I Drever, 1997. The Geochemistry of Natural Waters: Surface and Groundwater Environments, Prentice Hall, New Jersey

  • C A J Appelo and D. Postma, 2005. Geochemistry, Groundwater and Pollution, Balkema Publishers, London

  • D Langmuir, 1997. Aqueous Environmental Geochemistry, Prentice Hall, New Jersey

  • E K Berner and R A Berner, 1996. Global Environment: Water Air, and Geochemical Cycles, Prentice Hall, New Jersey

  • McBride, M.B. 1994. Environmental Chemistry of Soils. Oxford University Press, New York.

  • Sposito, G. 1989. The Chemistry of Soils. Oxford University Press, New York.

  • Soil Classification Working Group, 1991. Soil Classification: A Taxonomic System for South Africa, Department of Agricultural Development, Pretoria.

  • Tan, K.H. 1994. Environmental Soil Science, Marcel Dekker Inc., New York.

  • Turner, D.P. (ed). 1990. A Procedure for Describing Soil Profiles. Soil and Irrigation Research Institute, Pretoria.

  • Wild, A. 1993. Soils and the Environment: An Introduction, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

  • Hobbs, P. V. 2000. Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

  • Graedel, T. E. and Crutzen, P. J. 1993. Atmospheric Change: An Earth System Perspective, W. H. Freeman and Company, New York