380:561 Environmental Soil Geochemistry

Instructor: Rouff/Elzinga
Terms Taught: Spring
Credits: 3

Course Description
This course focuses on the main chemical processes that control the retention, solubility and transformation of major and trace elements (including pollutants) in soils. The chemical composition of soil components (minerals, organic matter, pore water) and their chemical interactions are discussed, with a focus on the biogeochemical processes that drive the cycling of trace elements. Besides discussing general geochemical processes relevant to soils (e.g. sorption, redox), the geochemistry of specific soil environments (e.g. acid soils, saline soils, sulfidic soils) will be covered as well.

Learning objectives
Upon completion of the course, students are expected to:
(1) be familiar with the soil components and properties responsible for the chemical reactivity of soils
(2) have a qualitative and quantitative comprehension of the major chemical chemical processes in soils
(3) be able to use chemical speciation models to describe and predict chemical speciation and processes
(4) be able to link theoretical soil chemistry concepts to real-world environmental issues.

Prerequisites: General Chemistry, Geochemistry.