Course description:

This course is designed as a research seminar. There are two central themes: 1) the stability and quality of groundwater aquifers 2) formation and mining of ores, metal recycling and their environmental impact.

1) Groundwater can be threatened by industrial/agricultural overuse and waste (mining and recycling waste), or by the construction of repositories or coastal defenses. Integrity and safety aspects will be compared for various aquifers. Students will individually examine aquifer aspects (porosity, chemical and hydraulic conductivity, trace element concentrations profile etc.) and assess the safety/risks of development options. As a class it is then possible to discuss, weigh aid rank risks. This will then be communicated by means of an interactive presentation by students. Short lectures will be taught to pinpoint what factors (geophysical, geochemical) are at play when it comes to aquifer integrity. Students will make use of literature, modeling software (Vinsem, Stella, OLI, GWB) in order to explore the systems in greater depth.

2) Another related topic is the mining and recycling of metals, especially now this is a relevant topic when the demand for those resources is growing. The pros and cons of mining versus recycling for metals (of choice) will be compared. The relation with topic 1) is that aquifers may be affected by either mining or recycling. Hence an overlap exists, so it is possible to mirror the work under 1)


Track Info:
a) The prerequisites for this course are SCIEART201 or enough alternative mathematics and chemistry experience to receive enrollment permission from both instructors. SCIEART101 is strongly recommended as additional preparation (at least an oral assessment of the book content of Understanding Earth will be part of being allowed in the course)
b) Other UCR tracks whose courses are relevant to SCIEART301– e.g. as part of a minor: Lab, Chemisty, Physics, Biology, Mathematics, Computer Science.