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Geochemistry of sedimentary rocks

Code: 44114
ECTS: 5.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Gordana Medunić - Lectures
Lecturers: Štefica Kampić, dipl.inž. - Practicum
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities in the course will be held on English. This level includes courses with multiple groups (i.e., all teaching will be held strictly in Croatian for Croatian groups, and strictly in English for English groups).

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
Practicum 15
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
Aquatic solutions: water/ice structure, water's solvent power, quantifying the composition of solutions. Aquatic chemistry: chemical equilibrium, the solubility product, ionic strength, activity coefficient, Debye-Hückel equation. Chemical composition of continental waters: chemistry of elements with reference to Ca, Mg and Na, ionic potential, weathering patterns. Basic chemistry of estuaries; chemical and lithological composition of sedimentary rocks regarding Goldich's weathering series; compositional variability of sandstones, shales and carbonate rocks. Chemical weathering: hydrolysis, equilibrium solubilities in the system SiO2-H2O, activities of different forms of dissociated silica, behaviour of alluminium and iron during the weathering of silicates, gibbsite solubility. Calcium carbonate solubility: the solubility products of calcite and aragonite, carbonate compensation depth, equilibrium solubilities in the system CO2-H2O, Bjerrum's diagram, solubility of the carbonate minerals in a complex system (river, lake, sea), buffering system, mischungkorrosion, biomineralization. Weathering agents: carbon diokside, erosion of an average limestone terrain, contribution of plant roots and microbiological degradation of organic matter to the weathering processes. Organic acids: their role in solution processes, significance of chelates for the metal mobility, colloids, floculation. Oxidation-reduction processes: Nernst equation, reduction potential, iron and manganese behaviour regarding electrochemistry, basic concepts of thermodynamics and electrochemistry, different approach of chemists and geochemists in expressing half reactions. Eh-pH diagrams: stability limits of water, stability fields of iron oxides; Eh-pH systems containing carbon diokside: stability of siderite regarding hematite, magnetite and dissolved iron. Diagenesis: definition of processes, kinetic factors, diffusion, Fick's laws, advection, Peclet's number, Darcy's law, kinetics of chemical reactions on the molecular level, general equation of diagenesis. Cementation: growth of oxidized surface layer, distribution of manganese in pelagic sediments, fossilization and growth of concretions. Fate of organic matter during diagenesis: geopolimers, reactions of 'darkening', vitrinite reflection, time temperature index, Van Krevelen's diagram, sulfate reduction, fermentation. Distribution of sedimentary rocks in time and space: assessment of the quantity of sedimentary rocks, distribution of evaporites, Mg/Ca ratio in carbonate rocks, 'dolomite problem', sea-level curve in response to the calcite/dolomite ratio.

Learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding of basic geochemical processes of interaction amongst sedimentary rocks, water and living / non-living organisms in terrestrial environments.
Basic knowledge of the process of chemical weathering of sedimentary rocks (mainly limestone).
The ability to discuss the mode of transportation of metals in the surface environment.
Ability to predict the disastrous consequences of human activities on the surface environment.
  1. Prohić, E. (1998): Geokemija. Targa, Zagreb, 554 str.
  2. Krauskopf, B. K. (1979): Introduction to geochemistry. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 617 str.
2. semester
Izborni kolegiji za Mineralogiju i petrologiju (ljetni semestar) - Regular study - Geology

4. semester
Izborni kolegiji za Mineralogiju i petrologiju (ljetni semestar) - Regular study - Geology
Consultations schedule: