First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
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School of Science
Course unit
SC02112752, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2017/18

Information on the course unit
Degree course First cycle degree in
IF0320, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 8.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination SOIL SCIENCE
Department of reference Department of Chemical Sciences
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge GIUSEPPE CONCHERI AGR/13

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines AGR/02 Agronomy and Herbaceous Cultivation 4.0
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines AGR/13 Agricultural Chemistry 4.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 3rd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Practice 2.0 16 34.0 No turn
Lecture 6.0 48 102.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
1 2019/20 20/01/2017 30/11/2020 CONCHERI GIUSEPPE (Presidente)
NARDI SERENELLA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: General and inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry
Organic chemistry
Introduction to Earth Science
Target skills and knowledge: The student acquires knowledge of the soil forming factors, the constituents and the main physical and chemical properties of the soil with particular reference to the colloidal components, the tools of interpretation of the soil chemical and physical analysis through practical execution of the main analyses, the basics for performing soil survey, the spatial distribution of soils (soil maps) and properties and problems of management of major soils.
Examination methods: The exam is carried out through a written test during the course on the soil chemistry part (multiple choice test on Moodle) and a final written test on the pedological part (multiple choice test on Moodle).
However, the student has the possibility to take the entire test with an oral exam.
Furthermore the student is invited to produce a technical report on laboratory and field activities that will contribute to the final grade up to a maximum of three thirtieths (3/30).
Assessment criteria: The evaluation of the preparation of the student will be based on understanding and ability to rework the arguments put forward during the lectures or practical experiences
Course unit contents: 1st CFU - The definition of soil components; the minerals (silicates and non-silicate) and the rocks; the stability of minerals; the weathering processes; the products of alteration; clay minerals (characteristics and genesis); oxides and hydroxides and residual products.
2nd CFU - The carbon cycle: the constituents of organic matter; functions; the main processes. Humic substances: extraction and fractionation; definition and characterization; general properties of humic matter. The soil physical properties: texture, structure, consistence, density, porosity, temperature, humidity, colour.
3rd CFU - The soil chemical properties. The colloids: adsorption and cation exchange, the characteristics of the exchange reaction; flocculation and dispersion; the selectivity of the exchange reaction; adsorption and exchange of anion (specific and non-specific). The degree of soil reaction (pH): the causes of variation of hydrogen ions concentration; the acid soil and the chemistry of aluminium; the lime requirement; alkaline soil formation and adsorption and their correction. Buffer capacity. Redox reactions.
4th CFU - The soil analysis: sampling and sample preparation, determination of the skeleton, texture, pH, total and active calcium carbonate, organic carbon and organic matter, cation exchange capacity, nitrogen, phosphorus Olsen, exchangeable potassium, micronutrients; interpretation of analytical results.
5th CFU - Soil-forming processes. Soil as it is in the countryside: the soil profile, the main horizons, the description of the soil. The soil-landscape models.
6th CFU - The classification of soils: the American classification (USDA Soil Taxonomy) and the World Reference Base (FAO).
7th CFU - The soil survey: the different scales of detail and standards; the preliminary study and the tools available for classification.
8th CFU - The mapping of soils: the processing of data, identification of soil typological units and cartographic units; the legend of the map. The soils of the Veneto plain.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures: 48 hours (6 CFU)
Practices in the laboratory: 16 hours (1 CFU)
Practices in the field: 12 hours (1 CFU).
Additional notes about suggested reading: The material presented in class (power point presentations and PDF) will be available on the Moodle platform of the School of Science (
The professor will receive students at the end of the class or upon appointment by phone (3351012466).
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Violante Pietro, Chimica del suolo e della nutrizione delle piante. Bologna: Il Sole 24 Ore Edagricole, 2006. testo consigliato Cerca nel catalogo
  • Sequi Paolo, Fondamenti di chimica del suolo.. Bologna: P├átron, 2006. testo consigliato Cerca nel catalogo
  • Birkeland Peter, Soils and Geomorphology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. testo consigliato Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Auto correcting quizzes or tests for periodic feedback or exams
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Zero Hunger Good Health and Well-Being Clean Water and Sanitation Responsible Consumption and Production Climate Action Life on Land