Course code JORD200

JORD200 Soils in Natural Environments - Field and Laboratory Course

Norsk emneinformasjon

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2021 - 2022 .

Course responsible: Line Tau Strand
Teachers: Trond Børresen, Tore Krogstad
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in August. This course has teaching/evaluation in August block, Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually, not in 2020
First time: Study year 2013-2014
Preferential right:
Course contents:
Soil-forming factors; climate, living organisms; parent material; topography  (relief) and time, determine soil development and which chemical and physical properties characterize the soil. On a local scale, it is especially landscape (topography/relief), vegetation and geological deposition type that are decisive. In this course, it is these soil forming factors we will focus on. We emphasize the development skills in describing, testing and analyzing morphological, physical and chemical soil properties. Connecting what we observe and analyze in the field with what laboratory analysis tell us is central to the course. We follow soil samples from field to laboratory. Interpretation of these soil characteristics in a landscape context is important for solving many issues related to the earth's ecosystem function / services.
Learning outcome:
After completing the course, the student should be able to carry out a standard soil profile description, field classification and sample soil for standard chemical and physical analysis. Students will know how to conduct a soil survey and through this obtain experience with soil variability in soil properties observable in the field. Students will perform their own laboratory work for both soil chemical and soil physical properties. The students should be able to measure and calculate various physical and chemical soil parameters, and be able to connect information on physical, chemical and morphological soil parameters to different soil ecosystem functions. Group work is central to the course and will provide training in collaboration. The group work will help the students become better at discussing, and value and respect different input and competence so that the goal - the report - is better and the work becomes more efficient.
Learning activities:

Tree weeks in August will, in full, be used for intensive field and laboratory work. The field and laboratory work will be conducted group wise and will be followed by key lectures in plenum. The fieldwork consists of; 1) soil profile descriptions and field classification 2) in situ measurements of some soil physical parameters such as moisture and temperature 3) soil sampling for chemical and for soil physical analysis in laboratory 4) soil survey/mapping of a limited area.  The laboratory work includes preparing (drying and sieving of soil) for and carrying out some chemical and physical soil analysis. These analyses include particle size distribution, determination of volumetric conditions in soil, pore-size distribution, measurements of water and air conductivity in soil, pH, organic matter content by loss on ignition, cation exchange capacity (CEC) and some extractions of Fe and Al.  In the autumn parallel two hours, each week will be used to complete the analysis, lectures and processing of the data for the final report. Students must organize the writing of the group report themselves (each student should allocate 100 h to report writing in the autumn parallel).  


Teaching support:
The teachers are available during regular office hours and web-based classroom will be used actively.

·         FAO, 2006, Guidelines for soil profile description or Greve, M. H., Sperstad, R. and Nyborg, Å., 1999, Retningslinjer for beskrivelse av jordprofil. Version 1.0. NIJOS-rapport 37/99. Norsk institutt for jord- og skogkartlegging,

·         Børresen, T and Krogstad T. 2015/2019 Field and laboratory exercises, JORD200 + notes.

Supporting literature:

·         Weil, R.R. and N.C: Brady, 2017, 15th edition. The Nature and Properties of Soils. PEARSON, Prentice Hall. (ISBN 10-1-292-16223-6). The students are expected to have pre-knowledge equivalent to subjects covered in this textbook. Having this book at hand is recommended.

·         Hillel, D. 2004. Introduction to environmental soil physics. This textbook is essential for all those specializing in soil physics and is highly recommended.

·         Sparks, D. 1996. Methods of Soil Analysis. This textbook cover supplementary descriptions of methods and will be available for the students.  

Basic course in soil science e.g. JORD101 Soil Science
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Participation in the field and laboratory work is mandatory (80% presence required)

Total assessment:

  • Written report (group work, 2-4 students) (60%)
  • Individual oral examination (40%)

Both parts of the examination must be passed.

Grading system A-E / Not passed. 

Nominal workload:
250 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:

Reduction of credits: - Students with exams from the course:

-JORD230 will get a reduction of 2 ECTS

Type of course:
In august the students must be prepared for whole days in the field and must be equiped for and prepared for physical work conneted to the fieldwork.
External examinor will participate in the oral exam and evaluate the group reports.
Examination details: Combined assessment: Letter grades