Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2017

Environmental Engineering Master Information
Master Studies (Programme Regulations 2006)
Major Courses
Major in Soil Protection
As replacement of 101-0314-99 Soil Mechanics, one of following three courses is compulsory for students of major Soil Protection:
1. 651-4033-00 Soil Mechanics and Foundation (HS), or
2. 751-3404-00L Nutrient Fluxes in Soil-Plant Systems (FS), or
3. 701-1802-00L Ökologie von Waldböden (FS).
701-0535-00LEnvironmental Soil Physics/Vadose Zone Hydrology Information O3 credits2G + 2UD. Or
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. Emphasis is given to land-atmosphere interactions, the role of plants on hydrological cycles, and biophysical processes in soils.
ObjectiveStudents are able to
- characterize quantitative knowledge needed to measure and parameterize structural, flow and transport properties of partially-saturated porous media.
- quantify driving forces and resulting fluxes of water, solute, and heat in soils.
- apply modern measurement methods and analytical tools for hydrological data collection
- conduct and interpret a limited number of experimental studies
- explain links between physical processes in the vadose-zone and major societal and environmental challenges
ContentWeeks 1 to 3: Physical Properties of Soils and Other Porous Media – Units and dimensions, definitions and basic mass-volume relationships between the solid, liquid and gaseous phases; soil texture; particle size distributions; surface area; soil structure. Soil colloids and clay behavior

Soil Water Content and its Measurement - Definitions; measurement methods - gravimetric, neutron scattering, gamma attenuation; and time domain reflectometry; soil water storage and water balance.

Weeks 4 to 5: Soil Water Retention and Potential (Hydrostatics) - The energy state of soil water; total water potential and its components; properties of water (molecular, surface tension, and capillary rise); modern aspects of capillarity in porous media; units and calculations and measurement of equilibrium soil water potential components; soil water characteristic curves definitions and measurements; parametric models; hysteresis. Modern aspects of capillarity

Demo-Lab: Laboratory methods for determination of soil water characteristic curve (SWC), sensor pairing

Weeks 6 to 9: Water Flow in Soil - Hydrodynamics:
Part 1 - Laminar flow in tubes (Poiseuille's Law); Darcy's Law, conditions and states of flow; saturated flow; hydraulic conductivity and its measurement.

Lab #1: Measurement of saturated hydraulic conductivity in uniform and layered soil columns using the constant head method.

Part 2 - Unsaturated steady state flow; unsaturated hydraulic conductivity models and applications; non-steady flow and Richard’s Eq.; approximate solutions to infiltration (Green-Ampt, Philip); field methods for estimating soil hydraulic properties.
Midterm exam

Lab #2: Measurement of vertical infiltration into dry soil column - Green-Ampt, and Philip's approximations; infiltration rates and wetting front propagation.

Part 3 - Use of Hydrus model for simulation of unsaturated flow

Week 10 to 11: Energy Balance and Land Atmosphere Interactions - Radiation and energy balance; evapotranspiration definitions and estimation; transpiration, plant development and transpirtation coefficients – small and large scale influences on hydrological cycle; surface evaporation.

Week 12 to 13: Solute Transport in Soils – Transport mechanisms of solutes in porous media; breakthrough curves; convection-dispersion eq.; solutions for pulse and step solute application; parameter estimation; salt balance.

Lab #3: Miscible displacement and breakthrough curves for a conservative tracer through a column; data analysis and transport parameter estimation.

Additional topics:

Temperature and Heat Flow in Porous Media - Soil thermal properties; steady state heat flow; nonsteady heat flow; estimation of thermal properties; engineering applications.

Biological Processes in the Vaodse Zone – An overview of below-ground biological activity (plant roots, microbial, etc.); interplay between physical and biological processes. Focus on soil-atmosphere gaseous exchange; and challenges for bio- and phytoremediation.
Lecture notesClassnotes on website: Vadose Zone Hydrology, by Or D., J.M. Wraith, and M. Tuller
(available at the beginning of the semester)
LiteratureSupplemental textbook (not mandatory) -Environmental Soil Physics, by: D. Hillel
701-1315-00LBiogeochemistry of Trace ElementsO3 credits2GA. Voegelin, M. Etique, L. Winkel
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).
This lecture is a prerequisite for attending the laboratory course "Trace elements laboratory".
701-1681-00LElement Balancing and Soil Functions in Managed EcosystemsO3 credits2GA. Keller
AbstractApplying element balances of agricultural soils and the assessment of soil functions for real applications in computer exercises to design preventive strategies against soil pollution and to support sustainable management of regional agroecosystems also in the context of spatial planning procedures.
ObjectiveThe students learn to critical assess changes in land use management on element cycles in agro-ecosystems and to assess soil services (soil functions). You design solutions for chemical problems in soil protection at the regional scale and learn to assess soil functions using different methods.
ContentThe students apply a regional balance model for Swiss regions in computer exercises and assess major soil functions of agricultural soils. You assess the sustainability of current land use and analyse management options improving nutrient and metal cycling in agro-ecosystems. The students will have the opportunity to calculate specific scenarios regarding land use management and environmental changes. Special focus we be paid on the soil services such as regulation-, production function and soil as habitat, and the assessment of these functions based on soil mapping data.
Lecture notesLiterature and Exercises for a case study
LiteratureLiterature will be provided.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course consists of lectures and computer exercises. The course take place every 2 weeks à 4 hours.
recommended prerequisites for attending this course:
- Bodenschutz und Landnutzung
- Biochemistry of Trace Elements
- Angewandte Bodenökologie
651-4033-00LSoil Mechanics and Foundation Engineering Information Restricted registration - show details W4 credits3V + 2UJ. Aaron, K. Leith, M. Stolz
AbstractThe course presents the principles of soil mechanics and soil behaviour characteristics and its applications in geotechnical structures and systems. It is based on more descriptive courses on Engineering Geology within the BSc Geol. Program and is a compulsory prerequisite for other courses within the MSc Eng. Geol. program.
ObjectiveUnderstanding the principles of soil behaviour and the fundamentals of geotechnical practices in soils.
Ability to communicate with geotechnical engineers.
ContentSoil Mechanics:
Fundamental concepts of strength and deformation of different soils. Introduction to geotechnical calculations
Significance of (ground)water
Geotechnical Engineering in Soils:
Evaluation of geotechnical scenarios, handling of forecast uncertainities, relation of soil properties and soil composition, interactions between soil and building,
standard construction methods in soils (foundations, slopes, dams and levees),
requirements for the geotechnical prognosis
Lecture notesThis lecture is supported by the textbook: "Geotechnical Engineering" by Donald P. Coduto, 2nd edition, 2011; ISBN-13: 978-0-13-135425-8
Prerequisites / NoticeCourses must be completed:
Introduction to Engineering Geology (BSc level)
Introduction to Groundwater
Sedimentology and Quaternary deposits
Principles of Physics

Courses recommended:
Eng Geol Site Investigations
Eng Geol Field Course I (soils)
Clay Mineralogy
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