701-1315-00L  Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersA. Voegelin, D. Janssen, L. Winkel
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


701-1315-00 GBiogeochemistry of Trace Elements2 hrs
Tue10:15-12:00LFV E 41 »
31.01.10:15-12:00CHN D 46 »
A. Voegelin, D. Janssen, L. Winkel

Catalogue data

AbstractThe course addresses the biogeochemical classification and behavior of trace elements, including key processes driving the cycling of important trace elements in aquatic and terrestrial environments and the coupling of abiotic and biotic transformation processes of trace elements. Examples of the role of trace elements in natural or engineered systems will be presented and discussed in the course.
ObjectiveThe students are familiar with the chemical characteristics, the environmental behavior and fate, and the biogeochemical reactivity of different groups of trace elements. They are able to apply their knowledge on the interaction of trace elements with geosphere components and on abiotic and biotic transformation processes of trace elements to discuss and evaluate the behavior and impact of trace elements in aquatic and terrestrial systems.
Content(i) Definition, importance and biogeochemical classification of trace elements. (ii) Key biogeochemical processes controlling the cycling of different trace elements (base metals, redox-sensitive and chalcophile elements, volatile trace elements) in natural and engineered environments. (iii) Abiotic and biotic processes that determine the environmental fate and impact of selected trace elements.
Lecture notesSelected handouts (lecture notes, literature, exercises) will be distributed during the course.
Prerequisites / NoticeStudents are expected to be familiar with the basic concepts of aquatic and soil chemistry covered in the respective classes at the bachelor level (soil mineralogy, soil organic matter, acid-base and redox reactions, complexation and sorption reactions, precipitation/dissolution reactions, thermodynamics, kinetics, carbonate buffer system).
The lecture 701-1315-00L Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements is a prerequisite for attending the laboratory course 701-1331-00L Trace Elements Laboratory, or students must be concurrently enrolled in 701-1315-00L Biogeochemistry of Trace Elements in the same semester.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersA. Voegelin, D. Janssen, L. Winkel
Typesession examination
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionThe performance assessment is offered every session. Repetition possible without re-enrolling for the course unit.
Mode of examinationwritten 90 minutes
Written aidspocket calculator only
This information can be updated until the beginning of the semester; information on the examination timetable is binding.

Learning materials

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Offered in

Atmospheric and Climate Science MasterMinor in BiogeochemistryWInformation
Doctorate Environmental SciencesBiogeochemistry and Pollutant DynamicsWInformation
Environmental Sciences MasterBiogeochemical ProcessesWInformation