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Environmental geochemistry

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Course Unit Code541-0148/01
Number of ECTS Credits Allocated5 ECTS credits
Type of Course Unit *Compulsory
Level of Course Unit *Second Cycle
Year of Study *First Year
Semester when the Course Unit is deliveredWinter Semester
Mode of DeliveryFace-to-face
Language of InstructionCzech
Prerequisites and Co-Requisites There are no prerequisites or co-requisites for this course unit
Name of Lecturer(s)Personal IDName
RAC20prof. Ing. Helena Raclavská, CSc.
The course „Environmental Geochemistry“ is focused on geochemical processes and principles of migration of both chemical elements and organic pollutants in individual components of environment (water, soil, atmosphere) including anthropogenic processes – waste production.
Learning Outcomes of the Course Unit
The utilization of knowledge and application of natural relations from geochemical behaviour of elements in Earth crust in to the areas influenced by anthropogenic activity. Understanding of the principles of risk elements during thermic processes by the waste processing. Identification areas of contamination in surroundings old ecological loads and brownfields with utilization of geochemical models (SURFER).
Course Contents
1.The basic geochemical principles of element migration in environment – endogennous and indogennous factors. Geochemical background and its relevance for contamination evaluation.
2.The occurence of natural anomalies in environment. Clarks. Maps of geochemical reactivity of rocks.
3.Trace elements in environment.
4.Organic pollutants – behaviour, main properties, difference between migration ability
5.Geochemistry of soils (physico-chemical properties, sorption parameters, the content of inorganic and organic compounds in soils.
6.The principles of binding metals in soils. Sequential extraction methods – Tessier, BCR.
7.The principles of bonding of organic pollutants. Evaluation of migration ability and decomposition (biodegradation). Partitioning coefficients. Migration in the system soil – soil water – underground water.
8.Occurence of organic pollutants in soils their biodegradability and index accumulation. The migration in system: underground water – soils – surface water.
9.Geochemistry of sludge (heavy metals and organic pollutants).
10.Particulate matter in surface and waste waters. The form of occurence of risk elements and organic micropollutants.
11.Geochemistry and mineral phase composition of sediments in water streams, rivers and lakes. The determination of geochemical backgrounds.
12.The contamination of environment in areas influenced by mining activity (Acid mine drainage, behaviour of heavy metals).
13.Geochemistry of wastes produced during energetic activity.
14.Geochemistry and mineralogy of fly ash – PM10 and total solid particles (TSP).
Recommended or Required Reading
Required Reading:
Baskaran M. Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry. 2012. Springer. 1-951.
Gill R. Chemical Fundamentals of Geology and Environmental Geoscience. 2015. Wiley Blackwell. Hoboken,USA. 1-297. ISBN: 9780470656655
Killops S., Killops V. An Introduction to Organic Geochemistry. 2004. Blackwell Science Ltd., 1-408. 2. edition, ISBN-10: 0632065044
Marshall P., Fairbridge R.W. Encyclopedia of Geochemistry. 1999. Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1-798. ISBN: 0-412-75500-9
Nelson E. Principles of Environmental Geochemistry. 2003. Brooks Cole, 1-528. ISBN-10: 01222290615.
Reemtsma T, Jekel M.Organic Pollutants in the Water Cycle. 2006. Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH, Weinheim, 1-374. ISBN 3-527-31297-8
White V.M. Geochemistry. 2013. Willey-Blackwell. Chichester, USA.1-660. ISBN: 9780470656686
ALLOWAY, B. J. Heavy Metals in Soils: Trace Metals and Metalloids in Soils and their Bioavailability (Environmental Pollution). 2012. Springer Verlag. ISBN 9400744692.
ANDRÁŠ, P., J. DADOVÁ a R. KUČEROVÁ. Environmentálna Geochémia. VŠB-TU Ostrava, 2015, 1-166. ISBN: 978-80-248-3751-2
BOUŠKA, V., P. JAKEŠ, T. PAČES a J. POKORNÝ. Geochemie. Praha: Academia, 1980
MRŇA, F. Užitá geochemie. Praha: Academia, 1991
RACLAVSKÝ, K., H. RACLAVSKÁ a V. HOMOLA. Geochemie. Učební texty, CD-ROM, 2010
Recommended Reading:
Siegel F.R. Environmental geochemistry of potentially toxic metals. 2002. Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg GmbH, 1-200. ISBN-10: 3540420304
KHUN, M. a kol. Environmentálna geochémia. Bratislava: Geografika, 2008
SARKAR, D., R. DATTA a R. HANNINGAN. Concepts and Applications in Environmental Geochemistry. Elsevier, 2007. ISBN 978-0-08-046522-7
Planned learning activities and teaching methods
Lectures, Tutorials
Assesment methods and criteria
Task TitleTask TypeMaximum Number of Points
(Act. for Subtasks)
Minimum Number of Points for Task Passing
Credit and ExaminationCredit and Examination100 (100)51
        CreditCredit33 17
        ExaminationExamination67 18