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ES5005   Isotope Geochemistry: Theory, Techniques, and Applications

Academic year(s): 2018-2019

Key information

SCOTCAT credits : 15

ECTS credits : 7

Level : SCQF level 11

Semester: 1

Availability restrictions: Not automatically available to General Degree students

Planned timetable: To be arranged.

Isotope geochemistry has grown over the last 50 years to become one of the most important fields in the Earth sciences. The growth in the importance of isotope geochemistry reflects its remarkable success in solving fundamental problems in mantle formation, ore genesis, hydrology, hydrocarbon formation, crustal evolution, planetary formation, geochemical cycles, hydrothermal circulation, ocean circulation, and climate and environmental change. In this module, we will explore the theory of isotopes and their fractionation, including kinetic, equilibrium, and Rayleigh fractionation. We will also use case studies and applications of isotopes to interesting problems across Earth Sciences including the evolution of the atmosphere, the formation of the solar system and planets, and climate and carbon cycle reconstructions. These case studies will introduce concepts such as clumped isotopes, isotope mass balance, mass independent fractionation, and radionuclide disequilibria.

Relationship to other modules

Pre-requisite(s): Current BSc Students SHOULD PASS ES3008 or pass (ch1401, CH1402 and CH2501)

Learning and teaching methods and delivery

Weekly contact: 2 x2-hour lectures (x 5 weeks), 3-hour practical sessions (x 3 weeks)

Scheduled learning hours: 29

Guided independent study hours: 121

Assessment pattern

As used by St Andrews: 2-hour Practical (Open Book) Examination = 50%, Coursework = 50%

As defined by QAA
Written examinations : 0%
Practical examinations : 50%
Coursework: 50%

Re-assessment: 2-hour Practical (Open Book) Examination = 80%, Coursework = 20%


Module teaching staff: Dr A Burke, Dr P Savage, Dr A Zerkle