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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5234M Isotope Geochemistry

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Dr Ivan Savov
Email: i.savov@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students will not be allowed to take this module if they have previously taken SOEE 3102.

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Basic principles of stable isotope chemistry. Types of isotopic fractionation and the mechanisms by which they occur. Stable isotope geothermometry.Stable isotopes in the global carbon cycle. Photosynthesis and its isotopic effects. Uptake of CO2 by the oceans. Isotopic compositions of major carbon reservoirs. Balances between burial of carbonate and organic carbon.Stable isotopes in the global sulfur cycle. Bacterial fractionation of S isotopes. Isotopic compositions of the major sulfur reservoirs. Evolution of S isotopes in sea-water and its relation to the origin of life. Properties of environmental reservoirs of S.Essay on an aspect of the global carbon cycle (geological or environmental topic) Basic principles of radioactivity and its geochemical applications; radiogenic isotopes and their use in dating geological processes and as tracers; Dating methods based on radioactive parent activity and uranium series dating; Cosmogenic isotopes in hydrogeology and palaeooceanography. Essay on a geochronological or radiogenic isotope tracer application.

Objectives

On completion of the course, students will be familiar with the application of stable isotope methods in the study of the Earth's major geochemical cycles.

On completion of this module students will be familiar with the principles of radioactive decay and their applications using geochemically important radioactive parent, and radiogenic daughter isotopes. They will be able to assess ages using the reduced activity of parent, the accumulation of daughters or progress toward secular equilibrium. They will learn to infer the chemical characteristic of long-lived geochemical reservoirs using radiogenic isotopes as tracers and also to use the latter to analyse mixing of materials from different reservoirs.

Syllabus

Basic principles of stable isotope chemistry. Types of isotopic fractionation and the mechanisms by which they occur. Stable isotope geothermometry.
Stable isotopes in the global carbon cycle. Photosynthesis and its isotopic effects. Uptake of CO2 by the oceans. Isotopic compositions of major carbon reservoirs. Balances between burial of carbonate and organic carbon.
Stable isotopes in the global sulfur cycle. Bacterial fractionation of S isotopes. Isotopic compositions of the major sulfur reservoirs. Evolution of S isotopes in sea-water and its relation to the origin of life. Properties of environmental reservoirs of S.
Essay on an aspect of the global carbon cycle (geological or environmental topic)

Basic principles of radioactivity and its geochemical applications; radiogenic isotopes and their use in dating geological processes and as tracers; Dating methods based on radioactive parent activity and uranium series dating; Cosmogenic isotopes in hydrogeology and palaeooceanography.
Essay on a geochronological or radiogenic isotope tracer application.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture62.0012.00
Tutorial20.501.00
Private study hours137.00
Total Contact hours13.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Background reading;
Literature research and essay preparation
Student-led literature-based projects with e-mail and tutorial support

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There will be 3 online practical exercises, where the students will practice some basic computations and calculations. These will not count for the final mark.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 word essay on topics selected from a choice of 5 or 650.00
Essay1 x 3,000 word essays on topics selected from a choice of 5 or 650.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/06/2021 16:25:49

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