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Module

CEG3606 : Biogeochemistry

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Geoffrey Abbott
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To further develop an understanding of the vital role that organisms play and have played throughout geological time in cycling elements throughout the Earth system. This module will also illuminate the way in which human activity is rapidly changing the integrated planetary system using the methods of chemistry, geology and biology. The module also follows on from the basic introduction to microbiology and microbial diversity given in CEG2607. The overall aim is to understand that biogeochemical processes, both micro and macro, leave distinct and measureable chemical signatures in the geological record that can be exploited to provide valuable information about present and past environments.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered will include: Biological processes of geochemical and environmental significance, the carbon cycle, organic matter production, preservation and degradation, chemical methods for characterising organic matter, hydrocarbons, palaeoenvironmental studies and the application of proxies for reconstructing past environments. These topics will be covered in a series of lectures, laboratory practical classes investigating organic molecules preserved in petroleum. The basic format will be:
The relationship of biogeochemistry and earth system science.
The great acceleration.
The first near-catastrophe.
Science, Darwin and evolution.

The carbon cycle.
Chemical composition of organic matter.
Analytical biogeochemistry including
Soxhlet extraction
Column chromatography
Thin Layer Chromatography
Gas chromatography
Biomarkers in petroleum and natural systems.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable