Environmental and Applied Geochemistry

School  Natural Sciences
Academic Unit
 Geology Department
Level of Studies
Course Code
Εξάμηνο σπουδών  8ο
Course Title
 Environmental and Applied Geochemistry
Independent Teaching Activities
 Lectures, laboratory work and tutorial
Weekly Teaching Hours
 2 (lect.), 1 (lab.), 1(T) 
Credits  5
Course Type
 Field of Science (Geochemistry) and Skills Development (characterization of the magmatism in a specific area and identification of the magma emplacement processes
Prerequisite Courses

Typically, there are not prerequisite course. Essentially, the students should possess:

(a) knowledge provided through the previously taught theoretical course of ‘Geochemistry”.

(b) laboratory skills obtained through the previously attended laboratories included in the course of ‘Geochemistry”
Language of Instruction & Examinations
Greek. Teaching may be however performed in English in case foreign students attend the course.
Is the Course offered to Erasmus Students
Course Web-Page (URL)  https://eclass.upatras.gr/courses/GEO389/
Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course the student will be able to:                    

  • Understand the use of geochemical exploration for resolving environmental problems and to identify sources of metallic minerals on land and at sea, as well as for oil exploration.
  • Understand the design and implementation of research to determine environmental conditions.
  • Compose a scientific report on environmental problems of an area associated with the exploration of mineral resources.
General Competences

Generally, by the end of this course the student will, furthermore, have develop the following general abilities (from the list above):

  • Searching, analysis and synthesis of facts and information, as well as using the necessary technologies
  • Autonomous (Independent) work
  • Group work


  1. Geochemical survey for ore exploration on land: basic principles of geochemical exploration. Geochemical environments. Primary dispersions. Affinity forms and epigenetic forms of dispersion. Territories, secondary geochemical dispersions. Forms of secondary geochemical dispersion. Geochemical abnormalities in aqueous systems, runoff sediments, residual soils. Biogeochemical survey.
  2. Geochemical survey for the detection of underwater deposits. Modern underwater deposits. Metalliferous sediments. Manganese nodules. Alluvial Phosphorus deposits.
  3. Geochemical survey for oil exploration. Methods of surface geochemical exploration. Use of volatile hydrocarbons of special mineral carbonaceous adhesives. γ-irradiation measurements, iodine geochemical anomalies, biogeochemical abnormalities.
  4. Environmental - Medical Geochemistry: types of pollutants, organic and inorganic pollutants, composition, behavior and fate of dispersible pollutants in water systems. Metal levels in organisms. Toxicity of metals. Sources of metal origin in the environment. Harmful effect of metals on human health. Characteristic metals, lead, cadmium, nickel, chromium, arsenic, mercury.

Laboratory work

  1. Geochemical mapping
  2. Utility of geochemical maps: agriculture, environmental protection, water supply, medicine, public health.
  3. Soil quality and public health - Harmful effect of polluted soils. Water quality and public health.
  4. Measures to protect public health.
  5. Geochemical environmental quality criteria.
  6. Specific criteria for food production environments.
  7. Methodologies for estimating environmental geochemical conditions in soils.
  8. Methods of estimating environmental geochemical conditions in aqueous systems.
  9. Environmental conditions in special environments.
  10. Methods of water body remediation.
  11. Wastewater management. • Solid waste management.
  12. Estimation of the impact of the disposal of solid waste in water systems.
  13.  Assessment of the impact of the disposal of waste water on water systems. 
  • Lectures, seminars and laboratory work face to face.
  • Lectures: using slides for overhead projector and/or power-point presentations.
  • Open eClass - Asynchronous eLearning Platform: storage and presentation of teaching material.
  • Laboratories:  Students are assigned a thin section suite to work out an essay on the metamorphic conditions and processes of a specific study area.
Use of Information & Communication Technology
  • Use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (e.g. powerpoint) in teaching. The lectures content of the course for each chapter are uploaded on the internet, in the form of a series of ppt files, where from the students can freely download them using a password which is provided to them at the beginning of the course.
  • Use of polarizing microscope employed with a digital camera for capturing and analyzing representative images through the use of specialized software packages (ProgRes CapturePro by JENOPTIC)
Teaching Methods
Activity  Semester workload
Lectures (2 conduct hours per week x 13 weeks)  2 x 13=26
Laboratory work (1conduct hour per week x 13 weeks) 1 x 13=13
 Tutorial  1 x 13=13
 Bibliographic research  1 x 13=13
Sample preparation for their study in the laboratory 1 x 6=6
Hours for private study of the student and preparation of home-works and reports, for the Laboratory, and preparation for the Laboratory  (study of techniques and theory) 3 x 13=39
Weekend hours for private study of the student and preparation of home-works and reports, for the Laboratory, and preparation for the Laboratory 1 x 13=13
Hours for private study of the student  during the week available for exam preparation and two weeks of  holidays 2 x 3=6
 Total number of hours for the Course  129
 Student Performance Evaluation
  1. Written examination (75% of the final mark)
  2. An essay comprising the outcome of the exercise assignments on the igneous conditions of a specific study area (25% of the final mark).

Percentages are valid t only when the student secures the minimum mark of 5 in the final written examination

Greek grading scale: 1 to 10. Minimum passing grade: 5.

Grades <3 correspond to ECTS grade F.

Grade 4 corresponds to ECTS grade FX.

For the passing grades the following correspondence normally holds:

5 <-> E, 6 <-> D, 7 <-> C, 8 <-> Β and >9 <-> A
Attached Bibliography

Suggested bibliography:

  1. Σημειώσεις του διδάσκοντα.
  2. Σχετικές επιστημονικής δημοσιεύσεις
  3. Κουκουλάκης, Πρ., Καλαβρουζιώτης, Ι., Κόκκινος, Π., (2017). Η Γεωχημική Συμπεριφορά των Βαρέων Μετάλλων στο Περιβάλλον. ISBN: 978-960-418-710-2
  4. De Vivo, Harvey E. Belkin and Annamaria Lima (Eds) (2008) Environmental Geochemistry

Related academic journals:

  1. Environmental Geochemistry and Health