Italian/English (upon request either of students or CCdS)
The class aims at providing useful tools for the study and identification of natural pollution sources by the use of petro-minero-geochemical parameters. The goal of the class is to explain how petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical investigations can contribute to characterize, define the origin, identify the main weathering processes and the associated geochemical variations of geological matrices, and to identify anthropogenic contributions.
- Handouts and other didactic materials available through Moodle.
The class intends to provide useful tools for the study and identification of natural (geogenic) pollution sources by the use of petro-minero-geochemical parameters. The goal of the class is to explain how petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical investigations can contribute to characterize, define the origin, identify the main weathering processes and the associated geochemical variations of geological matrices. In particular, the class intends to provide useful insights to the understanding of the complex relationships existing between the petrographic features and the chemical composition of geological matrices of environmental concerns, such as rocks, soils and sediments. The goal is to highlight the potential of a rapid and costless tecnique like the petrographic analysis in the characterization of the geological matrices, which stands out geologists from the other professions. The course will deal with applicative examples in which petrographic and geochemical studies contributed to paleo-hydrographic reconstructions, environmental researches and to thematic map creation.
Subjects such as the identification of natural pedo-geochemical backgrounds in soils and sediments from different environmental contexts will be tackled and discussed with regard to the current legislation.
At the end of the class, the student will acquire skills to understand how the interconnection of various geological disciplines such as petrography, mineralogy and geochemistry is fundamental for the knowledge of the transformations occurring in geological matrices essential for the human life such as rocks, soils and waters.
Knowledge of Chemistry, Mineralogy, Petrography and Geochemistry.
The class includes both lectures and interactive exercitations. Class lectures will include theoretical lessons played by powerpoint presentations showed on a screen and by the use of the dashboard. Students will be regularly challenged to verify the understanding of the tackled topics dealing with general geological knowledge and specific themes of petrography, mineralogy and geochemistry. Class exercises will be devoted to the observation of soils and sediments under the optical microscope, and to the elaboration of petrographic-mineralogical-geochemical data. The lecturer will drive students in the performance of tasks and will verify the correctness of them.
Type of Assessment
The knowledge and skills acquired will be verified through an oral interview, in which the knowledge and skills acquired will be verified. The student will be required to answer to questions about the main topics explained during the course, including the analytical protocols described in the class and in the lab. The student's ability to critically discuss and connect the topics of the course will also be evaluated.
Optical features of primary mineral phases and of the related secondary minerals in various lithotypes and in their alteration products. Petrographic, chemical and mineralogical transformation in the weathering processes. Relationships between rock weathering and soil and water geochemistry. Concept of background concentration and of natural (geogenic) and anthropogenic geochemical anomaly. Identification of the alluvial sediment provenance on the basis of minerals characterizing mother rocks of the feeding basin and the associated geochemical trends. Study of factors controlling chemical species mobility in the pedosphere and the hydrosphere. Variation of geochemical tracers in relation to the petrography and mineralogy in various geological frameworks (e.g., in the study of sediment/soils and shallow and groundwaters).
Evaluation of pedo-geochemical background in soils and sediments and identification of anthropogenic contributions in various environmental contexts, with regard to the with regard to the current legislation.