Course code JORD210

JORD210 GIS and Dynamic Modelling in Soils

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2019 - 2020 .

Course responsible: Jan Mulder
Teachers: Line Tau Strand, Trine Aulstad Sogn Tomasgaard, Arturs Putnins
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 Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Spring parallel.
Course frequency: Annual
First time: Study year 2005-2006
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.  

Spatial variability, GIS:

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.

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 soil temperature and its effect on the decomposition of organic  compounds (e.g. pesticides). Simple transport of water and solutes in catchments is also included. Furthermore, model parameterization, sensitivity  and scenario analysis are performed. 

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, e.g. of climate change. Emphasis will be on spatial effects, both locally and globally. This is knowledge that is important for sustainable use and management of soils and provides 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 selected processes in soils 

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 (computer lab). 4h each week
Teaching support:

1. Introductory lectures

2. hand outs and exercises

3. PCs (computer lab) and supervision during class hours by the teachers

Hand outs and software manuals
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Three compulsory assignments have to be passed

There will be three assignments for submission throughout the semester. All three must be passed. The final assignment is a synthesis of all material from the course and accounts for 75% of  the grade. 

Continuous evaluation. Grading scale Pass / Not pass

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 external examiner will assess the final submitted assignment
Examination details: Continuous exam: Passed / Failed