2021 Advanced Geochemistry

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

Geochemistry is a discipline that aims to portray the whole and detailed chemical picture of nature that includes the Earth, solar system, and universe. This course explains geochemical point of view that intends to understand objects/phenomena from behavior of elements, chemical compounds, and isotopes. It also focuses on experimental methods, and developments in interdisciplinary research fields.
The contents of Environmental chemistry (CAP.I405) course is reviewed from a wide point of view. We explain how the analytical methods instructed in Environmental analytical chemistry (CAP.I415) is applied to understanding of compositions of the Earth/universe and their cycles, as well as basic knowledge for Material cycle analysis (CAP.I535)

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
(1) Understand the concept of geochemistry that is based on fundamental knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology, geoscience etc.
(2) Understand the effectiveness and impact of geochemistry that serves as a basis for earth science, environmental science, ecology, geobiology, etc.


History of the Earth, Geosphere, Earth's surface environment, elements and isotopes

Competencies that will be developed

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

Class flow

Two‒thirds of each class is devoted to fundamentals and the rest to advanced content or application. At the end of each class, students are given excercise problems to confirm their understanding of the lecture.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 Introduction and solid-earth chemistry Explain the origin of elements, isotopes, and elemental composition of the Earth.
Class 2 Atmospheric chemistry Give examples of production and decomposition processes of trace gases and explain the mean residence time.
Class 3 Chemical oceanography Explain the cycles of carbonates and nutrients in the ocean.
Class 4 Biogeochemistry Explain the effect of microbes, plants, and animals on the material cycle on the Earth.
Class 5 Organic geochemistry Explain how the global carbon cycle and its historical change are elucidated using organic matter.
Class 6 Other topics and summary Give examples of other topics of geochemistry.
Class 7 Final exam

Out-of-Class Study Time (Preparation and Review)

To enhance effective learning, students are encouraged to spend approximately 100 minutes preparing for class and another 100 minutes reviewing class content afterwards (including assignments) for each class.
They should do so by referring to textbooks and other course material.



Reference books, course materials, etc.

PowerPoint documents used in class is available in advance via the OCW system. Students are expected to use these documents for preparation and review purposes.

Assessment criteria and methods

Scores are based on exercise problems (50%) and final exam (50%).

Related courses

  • CAP.I405 : Environmental Chemistry
  • CAP.I419 : Analytical Techniques for Environmental Chemistry
  • CAP.I536 : Advanced Material Cycle Analysis

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

No prerequisites.

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