TEACHING

Agronomy and Environmental Sciences 459/559
Environmental Soil and Water Chemistry

Overall Course Objectives

  • Learn to apply fundamental chemical concepts to practical problems in environmental sciences

  • Deepen understanding of chemical processes in surface waters, soils, and sediments

  • Become familiar with standard techniques to assess the retention and mobility of contaminants and nutrients in soils and sediments

LECTURE-DISCUSSION SESSIONS

A. SOLUTION-PHASE CHEMISTRY

1. Atoms and ions: Electronegativity and ionic potential

2. Ionic strength and chemical activity

3. Acids and bases in natural waters

4. CO2 and carbonate in solution

5. Buffers and alkalinity

6. Hydrolysis reactions

7. Dissolved organic matter

8. Complexation reactions: Metals

9. Redox reactions

B. SOLID-PHASE CHEMISTRY

1. Carbonate, sulfate, and phosphate minerals

2. Sesquioxides: Fe, Al, and Mn oxides

3. Silicates: Quartz, feldspar, and others

4. Layer silicates: Kaolinite, mica, vermiculite, and smectite

5. Organic matter in soils and sediments

C. SOLID-SOLUTION INTERFACE

1. Chemical and physical processes at the interface

2. Inorganic adsorption reactions (retention of metals and oxyanions at surfaces)

3. Organic adsorption reactions (pesticides, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, pharmaceuticals)

D. COLLOID CHEMISTRY

1. Electric double-layer models of colloid surfaces

2. Dispersion and coagulation of colloids

3. Soil erosion, colloid mobility, contaminant transport

E. ENVIRONMENTAL AND AGRICULTURAL ISSUES

1. Soil acidity: Sources, alkalinity, liming

2. Soil salinity: Sources and mitigation

3. Bioavailability: Nutrients, metals, organics

4. Phosphorus in soils, sediments, rivers, and lakes

5. Pesticides: Fate and transport in soils and sediments

6. Pharmaceuticals: Fate of antibiotics and hormones in soils and sediments

7. Acid mine spoil and acid mine drainage

LABORATORY SESSIONS

Water Analyses

  • pH, EC, orthophosphate determinations

  • Ca, Mg, Na, K; nitrate and ammonium, sulfate, chloride

  • Alkalinity, dissolved organic carbon

Soil Analyses

  • Particle size distribution, loss on ignition organic matter, soil pH

  • Oxalate- and dithionite-extractable Fe

  • Atomic absorption spectrophotometry; inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy

  • X-ray diffraction and infrared spectroscopy

  • Soil-test P, soil test Cu; exchangeable base cations and CEC of soil

  • P and Cu sorption by soil materials

 

Duration: 
08/21/2018