UCL Earth Sciences


GEOL0031 Advanced Geochemistry

This module is designed to make the student conversant in the basic principles of aqueous geochemical and reactive transport.

Coordinator: TBC

Module details
TitleAdvanced Geochemistry
UG CodeGEOL0031
Other Contributors 
Credit15 credits
Written Exam40% (Unseen two hours)
Coursework50% Practical assignments
Oral Presentation
Pre-RequisitesSome first and/or second year Geology modules e.g. GEOL0006, GEOL0008)
Maths & Stats Content and Requirement

GCSE Maths or equivalent

Total Number of Hours of Student Work188 hours
Hours of Lectures/Seminars20 hours
Hours of Practicals/Problem Classes20 hours
Hours of Tutorials0
Days of Fieldwork0


  • The laws of thermodynamics
  • Construction and used of phase diagrams
  • Mineral-fluid interaction
  • Fluid speciation and mineral solubilities
  • Mineral reaction rates
  • Chemical transport in during natural processes, including diffusion, advection, dispersion
  • Numerical methods methods in chemical reactive transport including finite difference method
  • Use of modern computation tools to calculate in real time chemical transport and reactions in natural systems
  • Laboratory sessions will be dedicated to developing computational skills to quantify chemical transport and reactions in natural systems.
  • Applications to calculating geochemical processes in real time including weathering, global cycling of the elements, waste transport and ore formation.


EnvironmentalApplication of Geochemical Modelling (2002): Chen Zhu and Greg Anderson, Cambridge University Press.

Thermodynamics in Geochemistry (1193): Greg Anderson and David Crerar, Oxford University Press.

Geochemical Thermodynamics (second edition): Kirk Nordstrom and James Munoz, Blackburn Press.

Geochemical Reaction Modelling: Concepts and Applications: Craig Bethke, Oxford University Press.


This module is designed to make the student conversant in the basic principles of aqueous geochemical and reactive transport. The fundamental concepts of the law of mass action and mineral solubility will be introduced. Chemical transport mechanisms, notably advection and diffusion will be presented. Specific examples of mineral dissolution/precipitation kinetics will be reviewed. Methods to solve the equations describing reactive chemical transport will be presented including finite difference and finite element methods. Training in the use of widely distributed geochemical modeling software will be provided and these tools applied to natural systems including chemical weathering, carbon/waste storage and ore formation.


The student will become conversant in modern methods to quantify in time and space the rates and consequences of mineral-fluid reactions and chemical transport in natural systems.