Course code JORD210

JORD210 Soils: Classification, process modeling and application of GIS

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2016 - 2017 .

Course responsible: Jan Mulder
Teachers: Line Tau Strand, Trine Aulstad Sogn Tomasgaard
ECTS credits: 10
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Minimum of 5, maximum of 15 students.
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel, .
Course frequency: Annual
First time: 2005V
Preferential right:
Course contents:

Soil classification:

Lectures and exercises on the principles of soil classification, diagnostic layer/characteristics. Regional distribution. Use of information on global and regional basis. Use of classification keys and interpretation of classification nomenclature based on the world¿s most commonly used classification systems e.g. FAO 1974/1998, World reference base 2006, and Soil Taxonomy, 1999.  

Process Modelling in Soil Systems:

Lectures and practical exercises on the computer, using the object-oriented program Vensim. Soil processes as e.g. carbon and nitrogen turnover are modelled by using  0th , 1st  and 2nd  order reaction, as well as  Michaelis-Menten kinetics. In addition, the course involves modeling of mineral weathering as  equilibrium reactions. Simple transport of water and solutes in catchments is also included. Model results are compared with analytical solutions. Furthermore, model parameterization, sensitivity  and scenario analysis are performed. 

Spatial variability:

Lectures and exercises in geostatistics and a simple GIS model. The lectures will focus on geostatistical tools and how they are linked to GIS. A case study using soil data will be used to produce a map and interpret the variability with respect to relevant ecosystem services.

Learning outcome:

The overall aim of this course is to provide students with tools for understanding complex processes in soils, that regulate their properties and that are of crucial importance for downstream effects, including climate change and water quality. Emphasize will be on spatial effects, both locally and globally. This is knowledge that is important for sustainable use and management of different ecosystems. Providing students with problem-solving and critical-thinking skills necessary for optimal soil management and environmental protection.

After completing the course, students will be able to:

Soil classification

1.      give an account of the local, regional and global distribution, formation, characteristics and use of the important soil types in the world,

2.      express the important characteristics of soil based on classification nomenclature

Process modelling

3.      formulate, solve, apply and present simple models for major processes in soils and whole ecosystems.

4.      show insight into quantitative causal connections in soil, (water and plant) systems

5.      implement, interpret and present model sensitivity and scenario analyses.

Spatial variation

6.      understand the key geographic information system (GIS) functions (store, manipulate, analyze, and display spatial data)

7.      develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills necessary to use GIS in the characterization and management of soils

8.      perform some basic geostatistics (regression-kriging, semi-variograms, continuous and class variables)

Learning activities:
Lectures and exercises. 4h each week
Teaching support:
- in progress
in progress
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Four compulsory assignments.
There will be four assignments for submission throughout the semester. All four must be passed. The final assignment counts 75% of  the grade. 
Nominal workload:
300 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
Students that have exams in JORD201 Process Modelling in Soil Water and Plant Systems and JORD251, Soil Classification will get at reduction in ECTS credits of five and two respectively
Type of course:
Lectures and exercises alternate and will take place in the lecture-room and computer room.  4 hours each week
More information can be obtained from one of the teachers listed.
The examiner is involved in planning. The examiner will assess the final submitted assignment together with a random sample of the first three submitted assignments.
Examination details: Continuous exam: Bestått / Ikke bestått