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Introduction to Marine Chemistry

Head of the module Ricardo RISO (Professor, Chemistry, 31st section)
Type Compulsory
Number of hours 36
Lecturers UBO : Jean-François Maguer, Frédéric Planchon, Matthieu Waeles, Ricardo Riso.
Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will have:

  • Acquired basic knowledge in the field of Marine Chemistry.
  • Demonstrated an understanding of the terminology and definitions used in the marine field.
  • Demonstrated an understanding of the themes developed during the module: major oceanographic phenomena (upwelling areas, frontal zones, etc.), the implications on phytoplankton development, the movement of water masses on large spatial scales within the ocean, and ocean/atmosphere exchanges.

A significant part of the module is devoted to experimental work, both in the laboratory and at sea.


Knowledge of the marine environment and the role of chemistry in a dynamic and interdisciplinary system.

Knowledge of sampling techniques and chemical and biological parameters.

Knowledge of commonly used analytical techniques.


Major elements in seawater, and the chemical composition of seawater. Dittmar’s Law. Minor elements in seawater and their importance in phytoplankton development. Origin and characterization of particulate matter in seawater, Redfield reports. Residence time of elements in the ocean. Chemical analysis in the marine environment: from sampling to the final results.

Water masses in the ocean and changes in the chemical properties of marine waters on large spatial scales.

Dissolved gases in the ocean and atmospheric chemistry.

Teaching methods Lectures, tutorials, and practical work in the laboratory and at sea (onboard the research vessel Albert Lucas).