Module Identifier GG21310  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Dr Peter W Abrahams  
Semester Semester 2  
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 Practical   Practicals / Field Days. 10 x 3 hour practicals including fieldwork in mid-Wales.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 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%
Semester Assessment 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%
Supplementary Assessment2 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%

Learning outcomes

On succesful completion of this module students should be :-


To provide students with the knowledge and skills required for the successful sampling of soil and their analysis and interpretation.


The themes of the 10 practical classes are as follows:

1. Laboratory techniques: tools of the trade. Introductory chemical analysis.

2. Local soil sampling and preliminary preparation and analysis

3. Soil pH and gravimetric determination of soil organic matter

4. Wet digestion procedure 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 spectrophotometric measurement

8. Analysis of trace-elements (e.g. Pb and Zn); analytical quality control

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.

Reading Lists

Rowell, D.L. Soil Science: Methods and Applications Longman


This module is at CQFW Level 5