Academic year
2022/2023 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
CM0571 (AF:358622 AR:186558)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
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This course aims to provide the knowledge of the natural processes forming the earth resources and the environmental impacts deriving from their exploitation. This course introduces the students to the knowledge on the origin of raw materials with a particular focus on energy resources and on sustainability of their exploitation. In depth analyses will be performed on the stable isotope tool applied to water resources and hydrocarbons.
These knowledges are fundamentally important for the master degree in Environmental Sciences since: i) they allow the student to acquire the necessary expertise for the availability of raw materials and their impact on the environment; ii) they allow the student to acquire the expertise on the application of the stable isotope tool to water resources and hydrocarbons.
The attendance and active participation to the course (frontal lectures and thematic seminars) as well as the individual study will allow the student to: i) acquire the basic knowledge on the earth resource formation; ii) acquire the knowledge on the environmental impacts due to raw materials exploitation; iii) acquire the knowledge on a proper geological terminology; iv) acquire the knowledge on the stable isotope tool applied to earth resources. This learning acquisition will allow the student to strengthen his expertise on: i) acquiring a critical approach towards a sustainable management of earth resources; ii) acquiring the ability to apply the stable isotope tool to environmental issues; iii) using a proper technical terminology suitable for a professional environment.
Knowledge acquired during the bachelor degree in Environmental Sciences.
Introduction remarks on raw material exploitation and impacts. IPCC report and paleoclimate contribution to the climate variations past, present and future. Definition of Earth Resources and reserves. Earth resources classification and their location in the Earth system. Basic knowledge of minerogenetic and metallogenetic processes. Geologic exhaustibility and renewability of mineral and energy resources; economic availability; mineral extraction methods; resources utilization; waste disposal. Environmental impact from resource exploitation. Vital resources (water, air and soil). Energy resources in Italy and worldwide. Fossil fuels (coal, oil and methane), their formation, extraction methods, reserves and consumption. Fracking and environmental impacts. Nuclear fuels, and wastes. Geothermal energy, areas of interest in Italy. Solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, urban waste and hydrogen energies. Available resources in Italy. Metalliferous resources (factors defining a mineral deposit, some examples of metalliferous resources). Non-metalliferous resources (fertilizers, building materials, precious stones, technical gases). Applications of stable isotope geochemistry to hydrogeological studies and to earth resources.
Mandatory text book:
Giuseppe Tanelli. Georisorse e ambiente. Aracne Editrice, 2010.

Optional text book:
J. R. Craig, D. J. Vaughan, B. J. Skinner “Earth resources and the Environment”, fourth edition, Ed. Pearson Education Limited, 2014.

The knowledges acquired during the course are tested by an oral exam, structured in two parts: in the first part the student is asked to present an in-depth study on a selected topic among the ones developed during the lessons; the second part aims at the learning assessment of the concepts presented during lessons. To each part a maximum score of 15 points is assigned.
The teaching is organized in frontal lessons and seminars.
The frontal lessons and supplementary materials will be available in pdf on the university Moodle platform.


This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Climate change and energy" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 07/05/2022