|Module Title||PRACTICAL PEDOLOGY: SOIL CHEMICAL METHODS|
|Co-ordinator||Dr Peter Abrahams|
|Pre-Requisite||GG10410 Single or Joint Honours Geography student.|
|Co-Requisite||GG32910 or GG32110|
|Mutually Exclusive||Because of the course nature, student intake is restricted to 40.|
|Course delivery||Practicals / Field Days||10 x 3 hour practicals plus 0.5 days fieldwork in mid-Wales.|
|Assessment||Exam||2 Hours Written exam: comprising Section A. (a number of questions demanding relatively short answers and calculations) and Section B (a pre-seen essay question).||80%|
|Continuous assessment||Comprising (i) a laboratory report to be submitted at the end of week 11 of the Semester, and (ii) satisfactory completion of analytical work.||20%|
|Resit assessment||2 Hours Written examination: comprising Section A (a number of questions demanding relatively short answers and calculations) and Section B (a pre-seen essay question).||100%|
Module Outline (Lecture Themes)
The themes of the 10 practical classes are as follows:
1. Laboratory techniques: tools of the trade. Soil N and its determination.
2. Local soil sampling and preliminary preparation and analysis
3. Soil pH, conductivity and loss-on-ignition
4. Walkley-Black technique for soil organic carbon
5. Analysis of macro-nutrients (Na and K) by flame photometry
6. Analysis of macro-nutrients (Mg and Ca) by atomic absorption spectrophotometry
7. Analysis of macro-nutrients (P) by colorimetry
8. Analysis of trace-elements (e.g. Pb and Zn)
9. Qualitative methods for determining P and Zn; analytical quality control
10. Computer aided learning: Soil Surveyor.
In addition to the local sampling, 0.5 days fieldwork in mid-Wales will be spent collecting appropriate samples for subsequent analysis.
It is assumed (incorrectly) that no student has had any previous experience in laboratory work and the chemical principles involved will be given only a minimal treatment, sufficient to carry out the work and to calculate the results. All students are reminded that the departmental safety regulations MUST be obeyed: adherence to rules, bench tidiness and orderly behaviour are absolute prerequisites for personal safety. For the purposes of safety, ALL students MUST provide themselves with a laboratory coat.
To provide students with the knowledge and skills required for the successful sampling of soil and their analysis and interpretation.
Module objectives / Learning outcomes
The chemical analysis of soil samples collected during fieldwork is an essential aspect of many research projects in the earth and life sciences. This course is designed to give a basic training in soil sampling methodology and laboratory work involving chemical analysis, and will provide students with transferable knowledge and skills which can be applied to other aspects of their undergraduate work (e.g. the dissertation) or even their future careers.
Rowell, D.L.. Soil Science: Methods and Applications. Longman