Alfisol, Item 001:

Soil chemistry with applied mathematics, by C.P. Schulthess (2005)
292 pages, paperback, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, BC, Canada.
ISBN 1-4120-3585-6.


About the Book

About the Book:

Soils play a crucial role on numerous environmental processes. They interact with the air above them, the rain that falls on them, the rivers that border them, the groundwaters below them, and the biological activity in them. They supply nutrients to plants and filter our wastes. Soils support life. Soils contain air, water, and minerals. Not surprisingly, soil chemistry involves many environmental disciplines, such as atmospheric chemistry, aquatic chemistry, interface chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and mineralogy. That is part of what makes soil chemistry so fascinating.

The chemistry principles in this book are presented in a sequential manner, and many of them are covered in great depth. Often, the concepts in soil chemistry cannot really be well understood unless you also understand them from a mathematical point of view. Sometimes, however, the mathematics behind the soil chemistry principles can be a bit overwhelming. As with the basic science portions, this book also builds the mathematical explanations in a sequential manner and walks you through many of the steps involved. Dr. Schulthess hopes that this approach will give you a rigorous understanding of the basic science and applied mathematics of soil chemistry.

This book was reviewed for the Soil Science Society of America Journal by Dr. John Seaman of the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Click here to read the review.

Use as a Textbook:

Dr. Schulthess teaches two courses in soil chemistry, to both graduate and undergraduate students from a diverse set of backgrounds. These courses are each 14 weeks long:

(1) Soil Chemistry Components, 4 credits, three 1-hour lectures plus one 2-hour lab per week. The labs are 100% computer exercises (such as XRD simulations, DLVO theory, Langmuir isotherms, and VMINTEQ). Prerequisites are: General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry (at least one semester of each). Recommended, but not required: one semester of Soils.

(2) Soil Chemistry Reactions and Equilibrium, 3 credits, three 1-hour lectures per week. No lab. Prerequisites are: General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, and Calculus (at least one semester of each). Recommended, but not required: one semester of Soils.

These courses can be taken in any order. Graduate and undergraduate students are taught concurrently in each of these courses, but graduate students are required to submit a term paper with an oral presentation as well.

This book, Soil Chemistry with Applied Mathematics, is used by the author as the required textbook for the first class noted above: Soil Chemistry Components. He takes about one month to cover Chapters 1 and 2, another month to cover Chapter 3, and the last 1.5 months to cover Chapters 4 and 5. See the Table of Contents below. Sections 2.7.1 and 2.7.2 require calculus to be understood; hence, these two sections are skipped in his class.


Table of Contents: