Isotope Geochemistry

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Isotope Geochemistry

  • Host University

    Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Location

    Amsterdam, The Netherlands

  • Area of Study

    Chemistry, Geology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Understanding the basic principles of isotope geochemistry and to apply the fundamental principles to earth scientific processes. The course treats both radiogenic and stable isotope techniques. An important concept is to understand by working through exercises.

    Radiogenic and stable isotopes are used widely in the Earth Sciences to determine the ages of the rocks and minerals, meteorites and archaeological objects, and as traces to understand geological and environmental processes. Isotope methods determine the age of the earth, help to reconstruct the climate of the past, explain the formation of the chemical elements in the Universe. Isotope geochemistry provides unique information of the evolution of our Planet Earth since 4.5 Ga ago and variations in the isotopic ratios are the clues to our understanding of the origin and history of gasses, liquids and solid material on Earth and the physical-chemical-biological processes that have been and still are active in our dynamic System Earth.

    The course treats the following:

    • Fundamentals of Radioactive and Radiogenic Isotope Geochemistry
    • Geochronology: long-lived radioactive decay systems
    • Radiogenic Isotopic tracers: evolution of Mantle, Crust and Sediments
    • Geochronology: short-lived radioactive decay systems
    • Stable isotopes: isotope fractionation and applications to Paleoclimatology

    Lectures and classes for excercises, self-study. Total hours, including classes for excercises, is 51.75

    Exam and retake consists of two parts. Part 1 determines 2/3 and part 2 1/3 of the final mark. Course work is expected to be completed as preparation for the exam but no mark is given.

    Geochemistry for Earth Scientists; Introduction Inorganic Chemistry

    nd year students Minor Solid Earth (Geology and Geochemistry).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

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