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Earth Sciences at the University of Fribourg

Bern-Fribourg Master in Earth Sciences


Details of Courses

COURSE TITLE: Low Temperature Isotope Geochemistry
LECTURERS: Prof. Th. Nägler, PD Dr. N. Waber
SCOPE:Use of isotope geochemistry in hydrology, rock–water interaction, archeology, pollution studies and more
ECTS Credits:3
FORMAT:Equivalent to 3 hours/week during the fall semester
FREQUENCY:biennially in fall semester, held in odd years
CONTENTS:Stable isotopes (O, H) as source (fingerprints), recharge and climate indicators and parameters in exchange modelling. Stable carbon and oxygen isotopes to identify reaction pathways (including microbial activity and gas generation) and water-rock interaction. Dating of groundwaters using natural and anthropogenic radioisotopes (3H, 85Kr, 39Ar, 14C, 3H-3He, 81Kr). Stable isotopes of heavy elements (examples: Cr, Mo) as indicators of large scale changes in the atmosphere-hydrosphere system as well as environmental issues. Radiogenic isotopes (Sr, Pb) e.g. as fluid and groundwater source fingerprints, as tracers of the origin of archeological artefacts, to identify pre-Historical human migration, or the source of aerosols. Application of noble gas (particularly He, Ar) systematics and U-series disequilibria in groundwater characterization and rock-water interaction. Practicals include handling data from case studies, demonstrations and computer simulations. The students know the essential application of isotopes systems to geological (early Earth to present), hydrogeological, environmental and archeometric problems. The students are able to explain the principles of isotope variations, in particular isotope fractionation processes, radiogenic ingrowth und mixing of different sources. They also know the key diagrams of isotope data representation and are able to apply simple model calculations. The students are able to asses the applicability of a given isotope system to a given problem and to judge the significance and correctness of published studies.
ASSESSMENT:Written examination

(prer): Courses with prerequisites.


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University of Fribourg | Dépt. Géosciences ; Ch. du Musée 6 - Pérolles ; CH-1700 Fribourg |
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