Course code JORD213

JORD213 Chemical and Physical Soil Analysis

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2022 - 2023 .

Course responsible: Åsgeir Rossebø Almås
Teachers: Valentina Zivanovic, Attila Nemes, Christian Solheim, Øyvind Peder Vartdal
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management
Teaching language: EN, NO
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
The cource starts in January block. Education and exam in January block.
Course frequency: Anually.
First time: Study year 2017-2018
Preferential right:
Exchange students following DIKU-exchange programs and M-MILJØ.
Course contents:
The course includes lecture of soil, soil analysis theory and how soil analyses are used for environmental assessment, and in agriculture as a tool for fertilizer and liming recommendation. The following exercises and analyses are performed at the laboratory: Good lab practice, soil and plant sampling (theory), and soil and plant material preparation (drying, sieving, milling). Determination of dry matter, loss on ignition, grain size distribution will be carried out. Analysis of important soil physical (soil density, water retention) and soil chemical parameters (pH, plant available K, Mg, Ca, P and Cu, and soluble NO3- and NH4+) will be demonstrated for and executed by the students. During the last week, students are given the option to focus more in depth on agronomic related soil and plant analyses, alternatively on environmental related soil and speciation analysis. The last week will involve a combination of laboratory experiments and demonstrations of methods were students get access to existing data for their own learning.
Learning outcome:

After completing the course, students should have the following knowledge and skills:


1) Safety and routines for work in an environmental chemistry laboratory, calibration of simple equipment as well as pipetting of standard solutions, conditions for accuracy and precision.

2) Students will also have in-depth knowledge of the conditions for good soil sampling and pre-treatment to ensure the best possible result, as well as the conditions and limitations of the analysis methods used.


1) conduct good soil and plant sampling practice, and evaluate good strategies for sampling and methods to be used for a given situation.

2) Prepare soil and plant samples for analysis using standard laboratory protocols and instruments.

3) Conduct selected standardized chemical and physical analysis.

4) Evaluate qualities and uncertainties of own soil and plant analysis results.

5) Evaluate own methods and results as a tool for assessing plant availability and environmental impact of measured parameters.

General competence:

Be able to choose appropriate sampling, sample preparation and analysis method based on knowledge of sample type and analyte (s), as well as requirements for analysis quality. Assess quality in analysis results. Present the work as a report.

Learning activities:
The student activities comprises daily preparatory lectures followed up by either demonstrations or student exercises. Time will be allocated during the course for the students to work on their laboratory reports. The students will be grouped in smaller groups during laboratory exercises.

-Klute, A. 1986. Methods of soil analysis. 2nd ed. Agron. Monogr. 9. ASA and SSSA, Madison, WI. -Westerman, R.L. 1990. Soil testing and plant analysis. Third edition. Soil Science Society of America, USA: 400pp. -Assouline, S., Tessier, D. & Bruand, A. 1998. A conceptual model of the soil water retention curve. Water Resources Research34, 223-231, doi:10.1029/97wr03039. -Perrier, E., Rieu, M., Sposito, G. & de Marsily, G. 1996. Models of the water retention curve for soils with a fractal pore size distribution. Water Resources Research 32, 3025-3031, doi:10.1029/96wr01779. -Børrensen, T. 2011. Pore size distribution and pF-analsis. Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Norwegian University for Life Sciences. -Sparks D.L., 1996. Methods of soil analysis. Part 3: Chemical methods. Soil Science Society of America, USA.

-Relevant litterature presented in Canvas.

JORD230 or similar. Relevant courses in Soil Sciences.
Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Take part in all laboratory activities and demonstrations.

Portfolio assessment: Evalutaion of laboratory reports (group reports). 

Grading scale: Pass / Not passed

Nominal workload:
Total workload: 125 hours. Lectures every morning (25%) followed up by either demonstrations (25%) or student exercises and report preparations (50%).
Entrance requirements:
Special requirements in Science
Reduction of credits:
5 ECTS for students with exam in JORD212.
Type of course:
Approximately 112 hours.
This cource is recommended for english speaking students and exchange students following DIKUs exchange programs.
External examinor.
Examination details: Portfolio assessment: Passed / Not Passed