Skip to main content

Module

CEG2604 : Global Element Cycling

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Jon Telling
  • Lecturer: Professor Yit Arn Teh
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0

Aims

Providing an introduction to the concept of biogeochemical element cycles, including interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere and biosphere via positive and negative feedback mechanisms.
Enhancing students’ understanding of the most important macro- and micro-nutrient cycles in terrestrial and marine environments.
Enabling students to comprehend the relevance of various chemical elements and their cycles in the context of societal issues (e.g., mining of fertilizers for agriculture) and global climate change (e.g., biological carbon pump).
Raising awareness about the use of geochemical palaeo-proxies for reconstructions of past changes in global element cycles, in the context of potential environmental conditions in the future.
Further enhancing students’ ability to understand and handle chemical equations in the context of global element cycles, including isotope systematics.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Biogeochemical cycles of chemical elements within the Earth system, topics to be covered include: Co-evolution of life and Earth’s chemical composition, formation of rocks, rock weathering, terrestrial and marine biota, atmospheric gases.

2. The critical role of the oceans in global element cycling, topics to be covered include: The biological carbon pump, the alkalinity pump, macro- and micronutrients, hydrothermal activity, marine resources.

3. The concept of redox reactions, topics to be included: Valence and oxidation status of elements, organic matter degradation and early diagenesis, transformations of metals.

4. From elements to isotopes, topics to be included: The CO2-carbonate system, isotope fractionation, element and isotope analysis.

5. Reconstructing element cycling in the past, topic to be included: The evolution of atmosphere and ocean chemistry, inorganic geochemical proxies for productivity/redox conditions/sediment provenance.

Teaching Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Assessment Methods

Module leaders are revising this content in light of the Covid 19 restrictions.
Revised and approved detail information will be available by 17 August.

Reading Lists

Timetable