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Cursus: GEO4-1426
Kinetic Processes
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / NiveauM (Master)
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geowetenschappen; Graduate School Geowetenschappen; M Earth Sciences;
Contactpersoondr. T. Behrends
Telefoon+31 30 2535008
Contactpersoon van de cursus
dr. T. Behrends
Overige cursussen docent
prof. dr. C.J. Spiers
Feedback en bereikbaarheid
Overige cursussen docent
2  (11-11-2019 t/m 31-01-2020)
TimeslotB: DI-ochtend, DO-middag, DO-namiddag
Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 16-09-2019 08:00 t/m 29-09-2019 23:59
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
Na-inschrijving geopendvanaf 21-10-2019 08:00 t/m 22-10-2019 23:59
Please note: the information in the course manual is binding.

Please not: this course will be offered, in this form, for the last time in academic year 2019/2020.

This course covers fundamental principles of geochemical kinetics, from the atomistic treatment of reaction rates and mechanisms to the quantitative description of chemical dynamics of natural systems. In addition to the introduction into fundamental principles and applications of kinetic theories, students will specialize into one field of application in their specialization projects. 

By the end of the course the student:
  • is able derive and apply quantitative expressions for describing the rates of biogeochemical processes;
  • is familiar with  the presented theories of chemical kinetics;
  • has learned about various applications of chemical kinetics concepts to problems related to Earth Science;
  • has critically studied current literature on geochemical processes in the field of Earth Sciences;
  • has advanced their skills of explaining or teaching kinetic concepts to an audience of non-experts.
  1. Rates of geochemical reactions. Rate equations, reaction mechanisms, elementary reactions, order of reactions, steady state, Arrhenius equation, principle of detailed balancing, Michaelis-Menten kinetics, heterogeneous kinetics.
  2. Theory of chemical kinetics: Collision theory, diffusion controlled reactions in solution, transition state theory, non-equilibrium thermodynamics, kinetic processes under non-hydrostatic conditions.
  3. Applications of geochemical kinetics: Mineral dissolution and growth, kinetics of microbially mediated reactions, kinetics of redox reactions, kinetics of reactions in aqueous solution, geochronology, geospeedometry.
Most of the examples discussed in the course are biogeochemical processes in aquatic environments. As part of the course, the students have to study independently chapters from the textbook Geochemical Kinetics by Y. Zhang. Students have to solve problems in the book and their solutions will be graded.

Development of Transferable Skills
  • Ability to work in the team: (Video) lectures are prepared in teams. Students have to distribute tasks, organize the workflow and are responsible for the time planning.
  • Problem solving: students receive data from (virtual) experiments and have to use different approaches to parameterize empirical rate laws.
  • Verbal communication skills: emphasis is put on transferring knowledge to non-expert audience / teaching, including the definition of teaching goals, planning a (video) lecture and preparing/presenting the lecture. Students are familiarized with techniques required to prepare video lectures.
  • Analytical / quantitative skills: analytical and numerical integration of differential equations. Solving quantitative problems related to kinetic processes.  
  • Technical skills: using the computer programme Excel for numerical integration of differential equations.
Je moet voldoen aan de volgende eisen
  • Toelatingsbeschikking voor de master toegekend
Basic calculus, derivatives and integration
Basic thermodynamics
Verplicht materiaal
Aanbevolen materiaal
Zhang, Y. Geochemical Kinetics. Princeton University Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-691-12432-2 (Chapter 1 & 2)
Lasaga, A. Kinetic Theory in Earth Science. Princeton University Press, 1998 (Chapter 1 & 2).
Relevant reading material is provided to the students in electronic form.

During the contact hours, lectures and solving exercises are integrated and not strictly separated.



Minimum cijfer-

The final grade is calculated from the result of the self-study assignments (20%), the oral presentation / teaching module (20%), and the written examination (60%).

Conditions for passing the course are:
a. at least 50% of the computer exercises have been satisfactory performed,
b. at least 5.5 on average, and
c. at least 5.5 for the written examination.

See also course guide.

Aspecten van academische vorming
Academisch denken, werken en handelen
Bestuderen en analyseren van informatie
Synthetiseren en structureren van informatie
Presenteren - een referaat/pleidooi voorbereiden, uitvoeren en evalueren
Gebruiken van informatie- en communicatietechnologie ('computer literacy')
Communicatieve vaardigheden
Samenwerken met anderen, werken in teamverband
Planmatig werken
Organisatorische vaardigheden
Numerieke vaardigheden
Materiaal / data analyseren en verwerken
Rapporteren over onderzoek - mondeling
Beheersen van methoden en technieken

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