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Faculty for Biology, Chemistry, and Earth Sciences

Department of Hydrology - Prof. Dr. Stefan Peiffer

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Lecture/Exercise course: Biogeochemical methods in hydrological systems (max 10 people, see list in geo) (28407)

WS 2019/2020
Th.: 10:00-12:00, S 134 (NW III)

Ben Gilfedder

Introduction and overview

This course aims to teach a deeper understanding of biogeochemical processes in the natural environment with a focus on aqueous systems (streams, rivers lakes). It will also provide the practical skills to undertake biogeochemical research in hydrology. The course will involve both conceptual understanding of biogeochemical processes and how practically to sample, measure and interpret biogeochemically relevant compounds at different spatial scales in hydrological systems. This will include studying the connection between groundwater and surface water, chemical fluxes, production and cycling of elements such as carbon and nutrients. Specifically the course will investigate:

  • Groundwater – surface water interactions and chemical fluxes in streams – where does the groundwater connect to surface water and how important is it?
  • Biogeochemical cycling within streams with a particular emphasis on redox processes and nutrient cycling in the hyporheic zone and its importance for water quality and healthy ecosystems.
  • Coupling between physical and biogeochemical processes in lakes e.g. the importance of stratification on chemical processes – natural chemical reactions and open vs. closed systems
  • Peatlands as carbon reactors – extreme redox processes and carbon stores

This year the course will be given in English due to integration into the Environmental Chemistry Master course. 

The class will run every Thursday from 10:00-12:00 in S134 NWIII up until Christmas with a field/lab intensive

Dr. Benjamin Gilfedder 

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