Advanced Inorganic Geochemistry


Course Objective

Our main aim is two-fold. First, to present an overview of the state-of-
the-art in geochemical research. After this course you should be aware
of the major problems that are being tackled right now by geochemists,
the techniques they use, and some of the major advances that have been
made in the areas discussed over the past couple of years.Second, to
introduce you to the skill of reviewing and marking academic work.

Course Content

Topics covered include planetary core formation, volatiles in subduction
zones, geochemical tracing, and geochemical techniques applied to art
history and renovation.

Teaching Methods

Most sessions consist of lectures introducing you to several ‘hot
topics’ in advanced geochemistry. The information you receive in these
lectures is meant to provide the background needed to understand and
critically assess recent high-impact publications that we have selected
in these active research areas. Lectures are generally relatively short,
leaving sufficient time for discussion and self-study of these papers
(and other relevant papers on the same topic that you find). The course
also includes a visit to the laboratories of the Rijksmuseum.

In addition, at the start of the course students are divided into groups
of two. Each group will be allowed to choose one of the topics covered
in the course. Each member of each group has 10 days to individually
prepare:(1) a 200-word abstract on the paper / topic (i.e. what is the
problem or controversy; what data are used).(2) a 3-page essay on the
topic that discusses the major arguments in the subject region.(3) a
Powerpoint presentation on the topic (maximum length 15 minutes, maximum
15 slides).You will then provide feedback on the performance of your
colleague, and jointly prepare a final presentation.

The work load of this course given in SBU is (1) 5 * 70 minutes lectures
+ museum visit = 18 SBU, (2) 5 * 2.5 hours reading and discussing
publications = 30 SBU; Preparation of abstract, essay, presentation,
and review of colleague’s work = 32 SBU. Total 80 SBU = 3 ECTS

Method of Assessment

The mark you obtain for this course consists of the following
components: preparation of abstract (15%), essay (20%), and first draft
of presentation (10%); your review of essay and presentation of a
colleague (25%), and the final presentation (30%).

Entry Requirements

This is the highest level petrology- geochemistry course so a good
understanding of petrology and particularly geochemistry is required.
Completion of second and third year BSc. level petrology and
geochemistry courses is required and it is strongly advised that
"mantle properties in lithospheric development" and one of "magmatic
process or metamorphic petrology" (or equivalents at other
universities) have been completed successfully.


As we aim to discuss hot-off-the-press research, papers to be discussed
are not known until the week before the start of the course.

Target Audience

Second year MSc students in Earth Sciences.

Additional Information

Guest lecturers include Dr. Robert van Langh (Rijksmuseum) and Dr.
Gerard van der Peijl (Netherlands Forensics Institute). Additional
lecturers from the VU may be involved, depending on the time of arrival
of new postdoctoral researchers.

Recommended background knowledge

The Mantle Properties in Lithosphere Development and Magmatic Processes
courses provide useful backgrounds in isotope geochemistry.

General Information

Course Code AM_450172
Credits 3 EC
Period P5
Course Level 500
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Science
Course Coordinator prof. dr. G.R. Davies
Examiner prof. dr. G.R. Davies
Teaching Staff prof. dr. G.R. Davies
dr. P.Z. Vroon
prof. dr. W. van Westrenen

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Study Group
Target audiences

This course is also available as: