le savoir vivant
You are here: UNIL > Programmes > Card-index course
Franšais | English   Print   

Card-index course

The main element cycles (C, O, N, S, P, Fe, traces, Si, Ca)

Les grands cycles (C, O, N, S, P, Fe, traces, Si, Ca)

Responsible Faculty: Faculty of Geosciences and Environment (FGSE)

Teacher(s): Remy Albrecht, Peter Baumgartner, Guillaume Cailleau, Hans-Rudolf Pfeifer, Eric Verrecchia
Lecturer(s): -

Validity: 2009 -> 2012

No timetable defined.


Autumn semester
32 hours per semester

Teaching language(s): French
Public: Yes
Credits: 2.50, 3.50


Most inorganic chemical elements of the earth crust, except 12 which make up more than 99% of the total mass (Si, Al, Ca, Mg , Fe, O etc.), occur in very small quantities, i.e. ppm (10-4 %) or ppb (10-7 %), and are therefore called trace elements. But these elements can occasionally occur in ore deposits with concentrations in the %-range. By natural processes, such as weathering and erosion, these elements will be dispersed in the environment (water, soil and air) and can be absorbed by plants and fungi and enter this way the food chain. Among these trace elements, the so-called trace metals, often abusively called "heavy metals" (since not always heavy and often having a metalloid character, such as As), play a particular role, because they represent an elevated risk for the biosphere. When assessing this risk, not only type and quantity of the studied element are important, but also its speciation, i.e. its physical state, the size of the particles, the associated inorganic or organic phases and its chemical form. Several case studies will be presented: Cr and Ni from ultramafic rocks, U, Zr, Pb, Mo, As and F from granitic rocks and claystones.

Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
Unicentre  -  CH-1015 Lausanne  -  Suisse  -  Tél. +41 21 692 11 11  -  Fax  +41 21 692 26 15