2018 Introduction to Geochemistry

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Academic unit or major
Undergraduate major in Chemical Science and Engineering
Yoshida Naohiro  Toyoda Sakae  Yamada Keita 
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Course description and aims

This course focuses on distribution of various materials in the Earth and its surface environment and their change. Topics include 13.8 billion years' history from synthesis of elements to the present through the birth of the Earth and life, and a broad range of the Earth's components such as geosphere including core, mantle, and crust, atmosphere, and hydrosphere.
Global environment is supported by material cycles occurring in the very thin Earth's surface layer, and is getting worse because of modern human activity. This course reviews the fundamental high-school level knowledge of earth science etc. and shows how such knowledge is applied to understanding of the Earth and environmental problems.

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
(1) Explain the origin and history of the Earth.
(2) Explain the origin and distribution of materials composing each part of the interior and surface Earth and their change from the chemical view point.
(3) Explain how life and the Earth interact and learn fundamental knowledge in in order to portray better future environment for a variety of lives.


History of the Earth, Global environment, Material cycles, Organic matter

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Fundamentals will be shown in the class. Students are encouraged to deepen their knowledge in the topics of their interest by reading books recommended by the lecturers.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Environmental problems on regional and global scales Give examples of materials that cause environmental problems and show the extent of the impact.
Class 2 Origin of elements, universe, and the Earth Explain how the elements were synthesized and what kind of elements are abundant in the universe and the Earth.
Class 3 Structure of the interior Earth and its constituents Explain how the interior Earth is examined and what kind of materials compose the Earth.
Class 4 Evolution of the surface environment the Earth Explain some of the big events occurred in the Earth's surface through its history.
Class 5 Material cycles in the atmosphere and oceans Explain the vertical structure, chemical composition, and material cycles in the atmosphere and oceans
Class 6 Chemistry of land water and soils Give examples of composition and chemical change in land water and soils.
Class 7 Relation between life and the Earth - Chemistry of the organic matter Explain materials and their change in the interaction of life and the Earth's surface.
Class 8 Future Earth Imagine how the Earth will be in 10 or 100 years later by your self based on the history of the Earth.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

Handouts will be distributed at the beginning of class when necessary and elaborated on using PowerPoint slides. PowerPoint documents that are ti be used in class will be made available in advance via the OCW system. Students are expected to use these documents for preparation and review purposes.

Assessment criteria and methods

Sum of the scores of reporting assignment given by each instructor. Details of the assignment will be explained in class.

Related courses

  • CAP.E331 : Introduction to Environmental Chemistry and Science
  • CAP.E332 : Introduction to Environmental and Energy Process

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

No prerequisites.

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