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    Principles of geochemistry applied to Earth and environmental processes; origin and distribution of the elements, water-rock reactions, isotope dating and tracers; problem solving tutorials and a laboratory project.

    Students will gain knowledge of geochemistry both from a theoretical and practical standpoint. Field trips and laboratory work will allow them to gain familiarity with analytical geochemical methods. At the same time they will learn aspects of the theoretical basis for the interpretation and critical assessment of geochemical data.

    About this paper

    Paper title Geochemistry
    Subject Geology
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,173.30
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    EAOS 111 and/or GEOL 112 and/or GEOG and/or CHEM papers, and 72 200-level points from Science Schedule C
    GEOL 262
    Schedule C

    Background requirements: Basic knowledge of elementary mathematics and chemistry. GEOL262 is for students in their second year of a geology or equivalent degree. GEOL362 is for students in their third year of a geology or equivalent degree.

    Teaching staff

    Coordinator: Dr Candace Martin
    Dr Chris Moy
    Dr Mike Palin
    Dr Christina Riesselman

    Paper Structure

    The course is divided into four modules, covering the theory and both high and low temperature applications of:

    • water-mineral reactions
    • trace element distributions
    • stable isotopes
    • radioactive and radiogenic isotopes

    A unifying theme of the course is the topic of global biogeochemical cycles. Implications for economic mineralisation will also be considered.

    Assessment is approximately an even split between internal (ongoing during the semester) and external (final exam).

    Assessments for GEOL362 are set and graded differently to GEOL262 to reflect greater background knowledge and higher expectations of students taking the paper at 300-level.

    Teaching Arrangements

    Two lectures and one 3-hour laboratory per week.

    Fieldwork: Several trips for sample collection will take place during lab time.

    Highly recommended: Gill, Robin. Chemical Fundamentals of Geology and Environmental Geoscience, 3rd Edition. Wiley Blackwell.
    Course outline

    GEOL_262-362_syllabus_2018_draft.pdf (latest syllabus indicative of content next time the paper is taught)

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes
    Students will be introduced to the principles of geochemistry as applied to geologic and environmental processes.


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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