EAE5062 - Applied analytical geochemistry - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment

Chief examiner(s)

To be advised


Professor Joel Brugger

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (On-campus block of classes)


Enrolment in the Master of Science




The unit is offered in a non-standard teaching period.


The analysis of geomaterials (e.g., rocks, minerals, soils, water) presents unique challenging related to their complexity. This hands-on unit will introduce the basic analytical tools used by geochemists and environmental scientists for measuring the mineralogical, chemical, and isotopic compositions of geomaterials. We will also cover some advanced topics, in particular the use of synchrotron light in geosciences.

The unit is suitable for any geoscientist working with geochemical data.

Specific topics covered include:

  1. Laboratory inductions, basics of analytical chemistry (e.g., precision, accuracy, blanks)
  2. Working in the wet lab.
  3. Mass spectroscopy - trace elements
  4. Mass spectroscopy - isotope ratios
  5. Mass spectroscopy - geochronology
  6. Sample prep. Budget. Plan a project.
  7. Water chemistry
  8. X-ray Diffraction
  9. Synchrotron-based spectroscopy, diffraction and microscopy
  10. Electron microscopy and microprobe techniques


On completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Understand the different analytical tools that can be used to study geochemical systems and the information they deliver.
  2. Prepare samples, acquire data, and interpret the results.
  3. Use a range of analytical techniques.
  4. Design and conduct an analytical campaign - including budgeting, selecting adequate samples and analytical tools, quality control, and reporting the results.


Practical work: 30%

Assignment: 40%

Presentation: 30%

This unit is offered at both Level 4 and Level 5, differentiated by the level of the assessment. Students enrolled in EAE5062 will be expected to demonstrate a higher level of learning in this subject than those enrolled in EAE4062. The assignments in this unit will use some common items from the EAE4062 assessment tasks, in combination with several higher level questions and tasks.

Workload requirements

  • Two weeks of lecture and laboratory activities, totalling 70 hours
  • Two weeks for working on projects, including three hours supervised study
  • Two half day field trips

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Master of Science