Andrea Carminati: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2021

Name Prof. Dr. Andrea Carminati
FieldPhysics of Soils and Terrestrial Ecosystems
Physik der Böden u. terr. Ökosys.
ETH Zürich, CHN F 29.1
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
Telephone+41 44 633 61 60
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipFull Professor

061-0101-00LClimate / Water / Soil Information Restricted registration - show details
Only for Landscape Architecture MSc.
2 credits3GH. Joos, R. Kretzschmar, R. Weingartner, N. Bluvshtein, A. Carminati, S. Dötterl, A. Frossard, T. Galí-Izard, R. Knutti, G. Mussetti, T. Peter, S. Schemm, J. Schwaab, C. Steger, H. Wernli
AbstractLectures, exercises and excursions serve as an introduction to atmospheric sciences, hydrology and soil science. Students gain a broad vision of the cutting edge topics that are being researched and studied at the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH, Eawag, WSL a.o. This will be the base for a future dialog between the field of landscape architecture and the field of sciences.
ObjectiveStudents acquire basic knowledge in atmospheric sciences, hydrology and soil science:
- Understanding basic chemical and physical processes in the atmosphere that influence weather and climate
- Knowledge of water balance, principles of integral water management and climatic factors in the field of hydrology
- Fundamentals about the classification of soils, soil-forming processes, physical and chemical soil properties, soil biology and ecology, soil degradation and protection

Students develop an understanding of the relevance of these topics in the field of landscape architecture. Temporal and physical scale, research methods, units of measurement, lexicon, modes of representation and critical literature form the framework for the joint discourse.
ContentThe course unit consists of the three courses "Climate", "Water" and "Soil", which are organized in modules.

Module 1 “Climate”, 20.–24.09.2021
- Atmospheric dynamics: weather conditions, precipitation formation, weather forecast
- Climate physics: past and future changes in global climate and scenarios for Switzerland
- Land-climate dynamics: interaction between the land surface and the climate system
- Hydrology and water cycle: extreme precipitation, influence of climate change on the cryosphere
- Atmospheric chemistry: aerosols, greenhouse gases, air pollution

Module 2 “Water”, 27.09.–1.10.2021

- Water supply: water balance, groundwater, water quality (water protection)
- Hydrological hazards: floods and drought
- Water use: drinking water, hydropower, ecology
- External influencing factors: human influence in the historical dimension, global change

Hydrological profile of the northern side of the Alps:
- Alpine region (Grimsel area): dominate role of snow and ice, dangerous processes, liquefaction of the water balance in the wake of climate change, uses (hydropower) and conflicts of use, new images of the Alpine region
- From the Alps to the Mittelland (locations along the Aare): Lake Thun (role of lakes in the water cycle, river and lake shore planning), Uttigen (conflicts of use between groundwater use, flood protection, revitalization and modes of transport) & Seeland (Jura water correction, conflicts of use in the Seeland)
- Jura (Reigoldswil region): Jurassic landforms, water in the karst, water supply in the karst

Module 3 “Soil”, 4.10.–8.10.21
- Introduction to soils: definition, function, formation, classification and mapping
- Soil physics: soil texture, soil structure, soil water potentials, hydraulic conductivity
- Soil chemistry and fertility: clay minerals and oxides, cation exange capacity, soil pH, essential plant nutrients
- Soil biology and ecology: soil fauna and microflora, fungi, bacteria, food web, organic matter
- Soil degradation and threats to soil resources: erosion, compactation, sealing, contamination, salinization
- Practical aspects of soil protection
Lecture notesCourse material will be provided.
LiteratureThe course material includes a reading list.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe courses "Climate", "Water" and "Soil" are organized with the Fundamental Studio I as joint one-week modules. The weekly schedules will be provided with the course materials.

Module 1 "Climate", 20.–24.09.20201
Module 2 "Water", 27.09.–1.10.2021
Module 3 "Soil", 4.10.–8.10.21

- The courses are held in English or German.
- The written session examination covers all three courses "Climate", "Water" and "Soil".
- During the excursions there will be at least one external overnight stay.
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkassessed
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsassessed
Self-awareness and Self-reflection assessed
701-0535-00LEnvironmental Soil Physics/Vadose Zone Hydrology3 credits2V + 1UA. Carminati, P. U. Lehmann Grunder
AbstractThe course provides theoretical and practical foundations for understanding and characterizing physical and transport properties of soils/ near-surface earth materials, and quantifying hydrological processes and fluxes of mass and energy at multiple scales.
ObjectiveStudents are able to
- characterize porous media at different scales
- parameterize structural, flow and transport properties of partially-saturated porous media
- quantify driving forces and resulting fluxes of water, solute, and heat in soils
ContentWeek 1: Introduction, soil and vadose zone, units and dimensions, definitions and basic mass-volume relationships between the solid, liquid and gaseous phases; soil water content; soil texture; particle size distributions;

Week 2: Pore scale consideration, pore sizes, shapes and connectivity, coordination number, continuity and percolation, surface area, soil structure

Week 3: Capillarity – capillary rise, surface tension, Young-Laplace equation; Washburn equation; numerical lab

Week 4: Soil Water Potential - the energy state of soil water; total water potential and its components; properties of water (molecular, surface tension, and capillary rise); units and calculations and measurement of equilibrium soil water potential components

Week 5: Soil water characteristics - definitions and measurements; parametric models, fitting and interpretation, hysteresis; demo lab

Week 6: Saturated water flow in soils - laminar flow in tubes (Poiseuille's Law); Darcy's Law, conditions and states of flow; permeability and hydraulic conductivity, measurement and theoretical concepts (Kozeny-Carman)

Week 7: Unsaturated water flow in soils - unsaturated hydraulic conductivity models and applications; Richards equation, approximations of Richards equation for steady state; approximate solutions to infiltration (Green-Ampt, Philip); outlook on unstable and preferential flow

Week 8: Numerical solution of Richards equation – using Hydrus1D for simulation of unsaturated flow; choosing class project

Week 9: Energy balance and land atmosphere interactions - radiation and energy balance; evapotranspiration, definitions and estimation; evaporation stages and characteristic length; soil thermal properties; steady state heat flow; non-steady heat flow

Week 10: Root water uptake and transpiration

Week 11: Solute and gas transport in soils; transport mechanisms of solutes in porous media; breakthrough curves; convection-dispersion equation; solutions for pulse and step solute application; parameter estimation; salt balance.

Week 12: Summary of lectures; solution of old exam

Week 13: Written semester-end exam

Week 14: Short presentations of Hydrus class projects; discussion of written exam
LiteratureSupplemental textbook (not mandatory) -Introduction to Environmental Soil Physics, by: D. Hillel
701-1343-00LSoil-Plant Water Relations Restricted registration - show details 3 credits2VA. Carminati
AbstractWater limitation is a primary constraint on plant growth and terrestrial fluxes worldwide. In this course, the principles of water flow in soil and plants are discussed, with particular attention on the effect of drought on root water uptake, transpiration and plant growth. Strategies of plants to tolerate drought are discussed.
ObjectiveThe students are able to: explain and compare systematically the drivers of water stress to plants; to solve the equations of water flow in soil and plants and to calculate plant water status for varying pedoclimatic conditions and plant traits; to critically review and present one research question in soil-plant water relations; to openly debate on the current trends in soil and plant water research.
Content24.09: Introduction.
01.10: Soil water relations; Principles of soil water retention and soil water flow; Soil hydraulic properties.
08.10: Root water uptake; soil hydraulic constraints on transpiration
15.10: Rhizosphere processes and properties; root-soil contact; root hairs; mycorrhiza; rhizodeposition.
22.10: Water flow in roots and xylem; root anatomy, architecture and plasticity; cavitation.
29.10: Transpiration; Vapor Pressure Deficit; Photosynthesis; Stomatal regulation.
05.11: Soil-plant-atmospheric continuum; Below- and above-ground feedbacks; Soil and atmospheric drivers of transpiration losses.
12.11: Modelling Soil-Plant Water Relations (Concept)
19.11: Modelling Soil-Plant Water Relations (Implementation)
26.11: Plant response to drought and consequences for agriculture and forests. Open questions and introduction to seminar topics.
03.12: Group work in the class
10.12: Seminar (presentation of papers)
17.12: Seminar (presentation of papers)
24.12: Seminar (presentation of papers)
LiteratureLecture notes; selection of articles
Prerequisites / NoticeVadose Zone Hydrology/Environmental Soil Physics (recommended but not required)
701-1673-00LEnvironmental Measurement Laboratory Restricted registration - show details
Number of participants limited to 24.

Waiting list will be deleted September 24th, 2021.
5 credits4GP. U. Lehmann Grunder, A. Carminati
AbstractMeasurements are the sole judge of scientific truth and provide access to unpredictable information, enabling the characterization and monitoring of complex terrestrial systems. Based on lectures and field- and laboratory training, the students learn to apply modern methods to determine forest inventory parameters and to measure subsurface properties and processes.
ObjectiveThe students will be able to:
- explain measurement principles that are used for characterization of landscapes and terrestrial systems
- select appropriate measurement methods and sampling design to quantify key variables and processes above ground and in the subsurface
- deploy sensors in the field
- interpret collected laboratory and field data and report main conclusions deduced from measurements
ContentWeek 1: Plant-Soil interactions – short introduction before sensor demonstration and installation in forest lab; Scholander pressure bomb (suction in leaves); LiCOR soil chamber

Week 2: Lecture on Measurement Science, overview of water content and water potential sensors; data logging and data logger programming; tests in the lab

Week 3: Introduction on soil physics; Field installation of sensors and field experiment; data collection for a few days; solar panel

Week 4: Soil sampling in field lab including geoprobe measurements

Week 5: Introduction on forest lab - Soil sampling in forest lab; root length density;

Week 6: Lecture on geophysical methods on Subsurface Characterization: Basic principles of ERT, GPR, and EM; simple lab tests on effective resistivity

Week 7: Demonstration and application of geophysical methods in the field

Week 8: Lecture on plant soil relationship; connecting information below and above ground – data analysis

Weeks 9 and 10: Forest characterization/ inventory: Principles of LiDAR; structures and features of the tree crowns, size/volume of the leaf area tree positions and diameters at breast height

Weeks 11 and 12: Eddy covariance methods -Principles for field measurement of water vapor, carbon dioxide, and energy exchange between terrestrial surfaces and the atmosphere; Analysis of measured time series to determine evaporation rate and CO2-fluxes

Week 13: Swiss Soil Monitoring networks – Monitoring of soil water content and potential; climate change and droughts

Week 14: Global data – Global modeling and data interpretation; SoilGrids and OpenLandMap; exercises on Budyko analysis
LiteratureLecture material will be online for registered students using moodle
Prerequisites / NoticeThe details of the schedule will be optimized based on the number of students; some blocks of the course will be offered as well to students of Environmental Engineering
701-1695-00LSoil Science Seminar0 credits1SR. Kretzschmar, A. Carminati, S. Dötterl, E. Frossard, M. Hartmann
AbstractInvited external speakers present their research on current issues in the field of soil science and discuss their results with the participants.
ObjectiveMaster and PhD students are introduced to current areas of research in soil sciences and get first-hand experience in scientific discussion.