APPLIED GEOCHEMISTRY

Second cycle degree in GEOLOGY AND TECHNICAL GEOLOGY

Campus: PADOVA

Language: English

Teaching period: First Semester

Lecturer: CHRISTINE MARIE MEYZEN

Number of ECTS credits allocated: 6


Syllabus
Prerequisites: All students must have a solid understanding of basic principles in chemistry, geology, mineralogy, igneous and metamorphic petrology.
Examination methods: Course learning goals will be assessed by written examinations.
Course unit contents: Isotope geochemistry plays an increasingly important role in a wide variety of geological, environmental, medical, forensic and archeological investigations. Isotope methods allow to determine the age of the Earth, reconstruct the climate of the past, detect adulterated foods and beverages, detect and monitor the progress of diseases in human and explain the formation of the chemical elements in the universe. This course is designed to provide an introduction to the principles and applications of isotope geochemistry. Systems discussed include the classic radiogenic systems (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, Lu-Hf and U-Th-Pb), traditional stable isotope systems (e.g. H and O) and extinct radioactivities. Applications as chronometers or tracers will be focused on a wide range of topics ranging from processes and timescales relevant to the formation of the planet and solar system, the evolution of the Earth system to environmental issues.

COURSE CONTENT:
1.Introduction
2.Nuclear physics and nuclear stability
3.Radioactivity
4.Nucleosynthesis: when, where and how chemical elements are formed?
5.Principles of stable isotope geochemistry
6.Mass-balance calculations
7.Tracing the hydrologic cycle with stable isotopes
8.Radioactive decay and geochronometry
9.The Rb-Sr method
10.The Sm-Nd method
11.The Lu-Hf method
12.The U-Pb, Th-Pb and Pb-Pb methods