The aim of this course is to provide students with the basic knowledge needed to understand the principles and the dynamics of the Critical Zone, in the framework of interdisciplinary studies.
Expected learning outcomes
Knowledge of the Critical Zone role and its relationship with life on earth. Understanding of their principles and dynamics, both internal and in relation to the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the biosphere and the lithosphere.
Introduction to the Critical Zone. Climatic aspects. Regolith and Weathering. Soil Morphology and Geochemistry. Water and the Critical Zone. Terrestrial Landscapes of the Critical Zone. Mass Movement Processes. The Impact of Glacial and Periglacial Processes. The Critical Zone in Desert Environments. The Critical Zone in Tropical Environments. Natural and Anthropogenic Factors affecting the Critical Zone.
Prerequisites for admission
To follow this course profitably, knowledge of the basic concepts of earth sciences is recommended.
Lectures - traditional dispensing.
John Giardino and Chris Houser (2015). Principles and Dynamics of the Critical Zone. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 674 p.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The final exam will be oral discussion with questions relating to the topics covered during the course, at the end of which a mark expressed in thirtieths will be recorded. Honors/praise will be attributed when the level of preparation is more than excellent. The exam questions will be consistent with the types of topics and the study and analysis methods related to the topics covered. The final evaluation will take into account the knowledge acquired (60%) and the ability to organize and illustrate the arguments (30%) and the presentation skills (10%).