Module Identifier BS33310  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr John Scullion  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Gareth W Griffith  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours  
  Other   9 Hours Workshop. 4 x 3 hour workshops  
  Other   4 Hours Field Work. 1 x 4 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours  70%
Semester Assessment Field Visit / Case Study: To be submitted during the last week of Semester 2.30%
Supplementary Assessment2 Hours One 2-hour written examination (plus resubmission of failed coursework or an alternative) 

Learning outcomes

Students completing the module should


The module consists of an integrated series of lectures and field trips covering the main examples of land degradation and contamination resulting from industrial, mining and civil engineering activities. It describes the sources of these environmental problems, their consequences and the scientific basis of reclamation and remediation to sustainable, 'soft' end-uses.


The lecture course begins with a review of the extent of rehabilitation need in the UK, of the varying objectives for differing end use, of approaches to site assessment and investigation, and of differing national approaches to contaminated land issues. It then deals with the problems associated with particular types of land degredation or contamination and provides an understanding of the science underlying their alleviation.

A number of specific topics is then considered. The causes of extreme acidity are investigated and mitigation measures explained. Hazards associated with the behaviour of metals and organic contaminants are described. Engineering and clean-up approaches to alleviating these hazards are then reviewed. Finally, the management of physically degraded and nutrient deficient soils is considered. Rehabilitation to agriculture, amenity and woodland is described in terms of reclamation and subsequent management. The special problems associated with landfill sites and with conservation end-uses are also considered.

A field visit illustrates examples of particular rehabilitation problems or approaches. Workshops use case studies to demonstrate the practical and economic constraints which influence the selection of rehabilitation option.

Reading Lists

Alloway,BJ (1990) Heavy metals in soils Blackie, Glasgow.
Bradshaw,AD & Chadwick,MJ (1980) The restoration of land Blackwell, Oxford.
Cairney,T (1993) Contaminated land.Problems and solutions Blackie Academic & Professional.
Cairney,T (1995) The re-use of contaminated land.A handbook of Risk Assessment Wiley.
Chadwick,MJ & Goodman,GT (1975) The ecology of resource degradation and renewal Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford.
Richards,IG, Palmer,JP & Barrett,PA (1993) The reclamation of former coal mines and steelworks Elsevier.
Scullion,J (1994) Restoring farmland after coal British Coal, Mansfield.
Alexander,M (1994) Biodegradation and bioremediation Academic Press.


This module is at CQFW Level 6