Soil Module

Soil Module
15. September 2023 Silvia Converso

Curtis F. Marbut

Lectures, exercises and excursions serve as an introduction to atmospheric sciences, hydrology and soil science. Students gain a broad vision of the cutting edge topics that are being researched and studied at the Department of Environmental Systems Science at ETH, Eawag, WSL a.o. This will be the base for a future dialog between the field of landscape architecture and the field of sciences.

Students acquire basic knowledge in soil science. Fundamentals about the classification of soils, soil-forming processes, physical and chemical soil properties, soil biology and ecology, soil degradation and protection. Students develop an understanding of the relevance of soil science in the field of landscape architecture. Temporal and physical scale, research methods, units of measurement, lexicon, modes of representation and critical literature form the framework for the joint discourse. Students will develop a graphic language in order to integrate this knowledge into design.

The course unit consists of the three courses “Climate”, “Water” and “Soil”, which are organized in modules. Module 3 “Soil”, 2–5.10.23

  • Introduction to soils: definition, function, formation, classification and mapping
  • Soil physics: soil texture, soil structure, soil water potentials, hydraulic conductivity
  • Soil chemistry and fertility: clay minerals and oxides, cation exchange capacity, soil pH, essential plant nutrients
  • Soil biology and ecology: soil fauna and microflora, fungi, bacteria, food web, organic matter
  • Soil degradation and threats to soil resources: erosion, compaction, sealing, contamination, salinization

The courses “Climate“, “Water” and “Soil” are organized with Foundation Studio I as joint one-week modules. The weekly schedules will be provided with the course materials.

  • 02 – 05 October, 2023
  • Course 061-0101-03 G
  • 2 Credits (as part of Climate, Water and Soil courses)
  • Language: English
  • Prerequisites: Enrollment in MScLA Program