• Aims and content

      The course aims to provide the current status of knowledge on the chemical composition of the  seawater and of the processes that occur in the  marine environment changing the distribution of the main chemical species.


       Scope and history of chemical oceanography

      1. Physical properties of water. Salt in solution; sea water as an electrolyte

      2. Composition of seawater

      2.1 Major constituents of seawater. Definition and methods of measure of salinity. Chemical tracers elements  (CFCs, oxygen isotopes) to quantify the mixing processes in the ocean.

      2.2 The role and variability of nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and silicium) in seawater.

      2.3  Organic matter in the sea: primary production and other sources of organic matter. Humic acids

      2.4 Simple gases. Solubility in water and atmospheric exchange. Dissolved oxygen. Ocean's CO2 system

      2.5 Distribution and cycling of trace metals.

      3 Chemical equilibria in marine environments: equilibria of carbonate species; redox chemistry; metal complexing reactions.

      4. Speciation of metal in sea water by model approach and by analytical methods.

      5 Exchange at the boundaries

      5.1 Air -sea exchange

      5.2 Sediment -water exchange

      6 Solid phases

      6.1 Suspended particulate matter and sediments.

      6.2 Trace elements-solid phase reactions: adsorption, ionic exchange, precipitation and co-precipitation reactions.

      6.3 Solid speciation and selective extraction procedures.

      7 Effects of trace metals towards marine biota: speciation, availability, uptake, toxic effects.

      8  Standard operational procedures of sampling and analysis. Data pre treatment.



      F.Millero  “Chemical Oceanography”, CRC Press, 1996

      S.M. Libes “An introduction to marine biogeochemistry”, Wiley & Sons,  1992

      PowerPoint presentations  and bibliographic references available at chemical oceanography  course aulaweb page.

  • Who
    • Teacher(s)
    • Paola Francesca Rivaro
      tel. (+39) 010 353 6172,(+39) 010 353 6173
    • Exam Board
      Francisco Ardini
      Marco Grotti
      Maria Carmela Ianni
      Paola Francesca Rivaro (President)
  • How

      Formal Lectures: Each lecture covers the main concepts and topics of the course content  by the use of PowerPoint presentations. Appropriate references to parts of course textbooks and suggested references are provided at each lecture.


      The exam consists in an oral test. The oral examination is always conducted by two teachers and lasts for at least 30 minutes. In this way, the Commission is able to verify the achievement of the objectives of teaching by asking questions about the program of the course. When goals are not achieved, the student is invited to deepen his knowledge and to ask further explanation to the teacher. 

  • Where and when
      Paola Francesca Rivaro

      Every day by appointment.

      Date Time Type Place Notes
      31 gennaio 2018 9:30 Orale Genova
      31 gennaio 2018 9:30 Orale Genova
      16 febbraio 2018 9:30 Orale Genova
      19 giugno 2018 9:30 Orale Genova
      4 luglio 2018 9:30 Orale Genova
      23 luglio 2018 9:30 Orale Genova
      5 settembre 2018 9:30 Orale Genova
      28 settembre 2018 9:30 Orale Genova
    • Class attendance is recommended.

  • Contacts