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Unit information: Geochemistry in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Geochemistry
Unit code EASC20010
Credit points 10
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2C (weeks 13 - 18)
Unit director Professor. Tim Elliott
Open unit status Not open

Successful completion of year 1 units in Environmental Geoscience and Geology.



School/department School of Earth Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

An introductory inorganic geochemistry course applying fundamental chemical concepts to understand the origin and distribution of elements and their isotopes on Earth.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion you should be able to:

  • Account for processes controlling the relative abundances of stable isotopes in the solar system;
  • Understand the controls of planetary differentiation on element distribution;
  • Quantify the effects of batch and fractional segregation and reservoir mixing in changing elemental and isotopic compositions;
  • Explain the causes of stable isotopic fractionation and its applications in Earth Sciences;
  • Apply the principles of radiometric dating to calculate ages for simple scenarios;
  • Use isotopic measurements as tracers in the natural environment

Teaching Information

Lectures and practicals

Assessment Information

The unit will be assessed by a closed 2-hour examination, which will cover concepts from the lectures and simple calculations addressed in the practicals.

Reading and References

William M. White, Geochemistry, Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN:978-0-470-65668-6