ENVT5510 Soil Dynamics

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
Earth surface materials such as soils, sediments and regolith are essential for the survival of terrestrial ecosystems, and are complex systems with interacting chemical, physical and biological processes. This unit investigates these processes in detail, aiming to understand and quantify the mechanisms involved. Drawing on soil and sediment geochemistry, soil hydrology and soil physics, and soil microbiology, the unit addresses diverse and relevant issues of how the dynamic nature of soil relates to the transport and reactions of elements and minerals, as well as how the soil three-dimensional matrix regulates soil biodiversity. The unit provides students with the ability to investigate soils using experimental and/or modelling skills and apply these to real-world examples relevant to remediation professional practice in areas such as agriculture, environmental science and land rehabilitation.
Students gain a quantitative, in-depth understanding of key earth-surface processes providing expert knowledge for professional practice in agriculture and environmental science. In particular, students are able to (1) understand, assess and quantify equilibrium and time-dependent chemical processes in soil; (2) understand, assess and quantify transport of water and solutes in soils, including the soil water balance; (3) understand and assess microbial processes and populations in soils; (4) integrate and analyse the interdependence of chemical, biological and physical processes in soil in relation to soil functions under managed and natural conditions; and (5) apply process-based understanding to real issues in soil science.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) soil chemistry assessments—current research analysis, geochemical equilibrium modelling report (33.3 per cent); (2) soil hydrology assessments—data interpretation exercise, hydrological modelling scenarios report, applied hydrological modelling report (33.4 per cent); and (3) soil biology assessments—multivariate analysis report, soil biological interactions report (33.3 per cent). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Andrew Rate
Unit rules
enrolment in the Master of Agricultural Science (72510)
the Master of Environmental Science (72530)
the Master of Biotechnology (71580)
the Master of Science (70630)
the Master of Geoscience (72550)
the Master of Hydrogeology (72540)
the Bachelor of Science (Honours) (BH004)
Advisable prior study:
ENVT4401 Advanced Land Use and Management
AGRI4407 Plant and Human Nutrition
BIOL4403 Plant Ecophysiology
GEOS4401 Hydrogeological Systems
Contact hours
6 full days (the total workload for the unit is 150 hours)
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  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.