Systematics of the main radiogenic isotope systems used in environmental geology. Radiogenic isotopes as tracers for food provenance. Pb isotopes as tracers for environmental pollution. Applcation of radiogenic isotopes in forensic studies. Antropogenic isotopes isotopes as tracers for radioactive pollution.
The aim of the course is to provide the students with the knowledge of the main radiogenic isotope systems and of their application in various environmental studies. With the acquired knowledge the student will be able to apply the different isotope systematics to constrain the relationships between geological process, antropic activity and the environment.
basic knowledge of chemistry and geochemistry
Lectures in class, practical exercise with specific softwares, laboratory activity at the Laboratory of Geochemistry of radiogenic Isotopes.
Type of Assessment
The oral examination is aimed at determining the learning by the student of the knowledge provided during the course. The student will be required to answer to questions about the main topics explained during the course, including the analytical protocols described in class and shown in the lab. The student's ability to critically discuss and connect the topics of the course will also be evaluated.
Decay mechanism and laws of radioactive decay. Description of the most important isotopic systematics used in Environmental geology (Rb-Sr, Sm-Nd, U-Th-Pb). Main dating methods used in environmental geology (U-Th, 210Pb). Analytical methods for the measurements of radiogenic isotope ratios with practical exercise. Multi-collector Thermal Ionization (TIMS) and plasma (MC-ICPMS) mass spectrometers. Correction required for the isotopic analyses via mass spectrometry and evaluation of the analytical errors. Radiogenic isotopes and environmental geology. Relationship between the geological and the environment. Application of Sr isotopes in environmental and forensic studies and as tracers for food provenance. Radiogenic isotopes in forensic studies. Pb isotopes and environmental pollution; Application of Pb isotopes to constrain the relative contribution of anthropogenic vs. geogenic Pb.. Antropogenic isotopes and their application as tracers for radioactive hazard and pollution. Example and discussion in class on the application of radiogenic isotopes in environmental studies.