Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2018

Environmental Sciences Bachelor Information
Bachelor Studies (Programme Regulations 2016)
Natural Science and Technical Electives
Soil Sciences
701-0533-00LSoil ChemistryW3 credits2GR. Kretzschmar, D. I. Christl
AbstractThis course discusses chemical and biogeochemical processes in soils and their influence on the behavior and cycling of nutrients and pollutants in terrestrial systems. Approaches for quantitative modeling of the processes are introduced.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of important chemical soil properties and processes and their influence on the behavior (e.g., speciation, bioavailability, mobility) of nutrients and pollutants.
ContentImportant topics include the structure and properties of clays and oxides, the chemistry of the soil solution, gas equilibria, dissolution and precipitation of mineral phases, cation exchange, surface complexation, chemistry of soil organic matter, redox reactions in flooded soils, soil acidification and soil salinization.
Lecture notesHandouts in lectures.
Literature- Selected chapters in: Encyclopedia of Soils in the Environment, 2005.
- Chapters 2 and 5 in Scheffer/Schachtschabel - Soil Science, 1st English edition, Springer, 2016.
701-0535-00LEnvironmental Soil Physics/Vadose Zone HydrologyW3 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
651-0032-00LGeology and PetrographyW4 credits2V + 1UC. A. Heinrich, K. Rauchenstein, M. O. Saar
AbstractThis course gives an overview of the basic concepts of geology and petrography and shows some links to the application of these concepts. The course consists of weekly lectures and bi-weekly exercises in groups.
ObjectiveThis course gives an overview of the basic concepts of geology and petrography and shows some links to the application of these concepts.
ContentGeologie der Erde, Mineralien - Baustoffe der Gesteine, Gesteine und ihr Kreislauf, Magmatische Gesteine, Vulkane und ihre Gesteine, Verwitterung und Erosion, Sedimentgesteine, Metamorphe Gesteine, Historische Geologie, Strukturgeologie und Gesteinsverformung, Bergstürze und Rutschungen, Grundwasser, Flüsse, Wind und Gletscher, Prozesse im Erdinnern, Erdbeben und Rohstoffe. Kurze Einführung in die Geologie der Schweiz.

Übungen zum Gesteinsbestimmen und Lesen von geologischen, tektonischen und geotechnischen Karten, einfache Konstruktionen.
Lecture notesWeekly handouts of PPT slides via MyStudies
LiteratureThe course is based on Press & Siever book Dynamic Earth by Grotzinger et al., available to ETH students via Link
651-3525-00LIntroduction to Engineering GeologyW4 credits2V + 1UM. Ziegler, K. Leith
AbstractThis introductory course starts from a descriptions of the behavior and phenomena of soils and rocks under near surface loading conditions and their key geotechnical properties. Lab and field methods for the characterization of soils, rocks and rock masses are introduced. Finally practical aspects of ground engineering, including tunneling and landslide hazards are presented.
ObjectiveUnderstanding the basic geotechnical and geomechanical properties and processes of rocks and soils. Understanding the interaction of rock and soil masses with technical systems. Understanding the fundamentals of geological hazards.
ContentRock, soil and rock mass: scale effects and fundamental geotechnical properties. Soil mechanical properties and their determination. Rock mechanical properties and their determination. Fractures: geotechnical properties and their determination. Geotechnical classification of intact rock, soils and rock masses. Natural and induced stresses in rock and soil. Interaction of soil masses with surface loads, water and excavations. Slope instability mechanisms and stability analyses. Underground excavation instability mechanisms and rock deformation. Geological mass wasting processes.
Lecture notesWritten course documentation available under "Kursunterlagen".
LiteraturePRINZ, H. & R. Strauss (2006): Abriss der Ingenieurgeologie. - 671 S., 4. Aufl., Elsevier GmbH (Spektrum Verlag).

CADUTO, D.C. (1999): Geotechnical Engineering, Principles and Practices. 759 S., 1. Aufl., (Prentice Hall)

LANG, H.-J., HUDER, J. & AMMAN, P. (1996): Bodenmechanik und Grundbau. Das Verhalten von Böden und die wichtigsten grundbaulichen Konzepte. - 320 S., 5.Aufl., Berlin, Heidelberg etc. (Springer).

HOEK, E. (2007): Practical Rock Engineering - Course Notes. Link

HUDSON, J.A. & HARRISON, J.P. (1997): Engineering Rock Mechanics. An Introduction to the Principles. - 444 S. (Pergamon).
751-3401-00LPlant Nutrition IW2 credits2VE. Frossard
AbstractThe aim of these lecture is to present the processes controlling the uptake and transport of nutrients by the plant, the assimilation of nutrients in the plant, the effect of nutrients on crop yield and quality, the role of the soil as a source of nutrients for crops, and the basic principles of fertilization of different crop types using mineral and organic fertilizers.
ObjectiveAt the end of the lecture, students know how mineral nutrients are taken up through roots and circulate in the plants and what their roles in plants are. They understand the importance of nutrients for yield formation and for crop product quality. They are able to propose fertilization plans adapted for field crops growing under Swiss conditions.
ContentA general introduction explains the needs of appropriately managing nutrients in plant production. Afterwards, we will study the physiology of plant nutrition (nutrient uptake by roots; nutrient transports in the plant; physiological roles of nutrients in the plant). Then the role of nutrients for yield formation and their effects on crop quality is dealt with. Finally, the bases of crop fertilization are taught (availability of nutrient in soil; N, P and K fertilization; different types of fertilizers).
Lecture notesThe slides will be distributed
LiteratureMarschner 1995. Mineral Nutrition of higher plants (available on line on the ETH library).
Schubert S 2006 Pflanzenernährung Grundwissen Bachelor Ulmer UTB
Richner W. & Sinaj S., 2017. Grundlagen für die Düngung landwirtschaftlicher Kulturen in der Schweiz (GRUD 2017). Agrarforschung Schweiz 8 (6), Spezialpublikation,
Bergmann, W. 1988. Ernährungsstörungen bei Kulturpflanzen.
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