Environmental Geochemistry


This module describes the physical and chemical changes that take place at the Earth’s surface as rock, water and the atmosphere interact.

From the dissolution of a mineral at an atomic scale, to its influence on river and ground water chemistry, to its contribution to the balance of global chemical cycles through geological history.

Environmental Geochemistry is appropriate for those with or without A level chemistry or geology - all students will be at the same competency by the end of the course and have an applied, process-based knowledge bespoke for the earth and environmental science degree schemes.


  • Lectures: 8 hours
  • Workshops: 9 hours
  • Open Tutorials: 2 hours


  • Course work - 20% Assessed workshops. Short answer questions handed out at end of each Monday lecture. Completed workshop sheets handed in at the end of each Wednesday workshop. At the end of the term 3 out of the 9 workshops will be selected and marked. Model answers for each workshop will be available online each week after hand in.
  • Exam – 80% 1.5 hours. Choice of 4 out of 8 questions worth 20% each. Exam questions will either be short essay style, or comprise a series of short answer questions.

Key skills

  • Numeracy
  • Chemical literacy (dealing with chemical terms)
  • Calculating environmental parameters (eg pH, chemical equilibrium)
  • Observation skills (eg using colour to interpret environmental conditions)