Applied soil sciences

lbire2104  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Applied soil sciences
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
5 credits
30.0 h + 22.5 h
Agnan Yannick; Delmelle Pierre (coordinator);
Introduction aux sciences de la terre [LBIR1130]
Introduction à l'ingénierie de la biosphère [LBIR1230]
Sciences du sol [LBIR1336]
Excursions de pédologie et d'écologie agricole et forestière [LBIR1335]
Main themes
The soil, as bio-physico-chemical reactor at the interface between lithopshere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere evolves at the expense of parental material as a result of soil-forming factors, such as climate, vegetation and topography.
The study of soil formation and evolution (pedology) will be addressed through four topics: (1) processes controlling soil formation at pedon scale, (2) effect of environmental conditions and anthropic factors on soil evolution, (3) classification, distribution and functionality of major soil groups of the World, (4) soil management principles based on their agronomical and sylvicultural efficiency.

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :

1 a. Contribution of the activity to the framework AA
1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5
2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4
6.2, 6.4
b. Expected learning outcomes
At the end of the activity, the student is able to:
-       Integrate the fundamental disciplines to diagnose pedological processes and soil functioning and to assess the anthropic impact on soils,
-       Discern and briefly and precisely summarize the laws governing soil development, based on the relation factors-processes-properties (part II),
-       Describe and predict pedogenic processes controlling soil evolution according to environmental conditons by applying concepts and tools (analytical tables) taught (part III),
-       Decipher soil-forming processes for the major soil groups of the World (in natural and anthropic environment), by integrating theoretical concepts thaught (part IV) and illustrated in tutorials and field trips,
-       Classify soil types by applying in operational terms the soil typology principles taught in lecture and tutorials (part IV),
-       Describe properties and how soil operates for major soil types of the World in terms of agronomical and environmental functions, based on example taught in lectures and shown in field trips (part II, III et IV).

The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
Part I. Introduction
Part II. Pedogenesis
II.1. Weathering and formation of mineral phases
II.2. Dynamic of soil organic matter
II.3. Organo-mineral interactions
II.4. Pedogenic factors and processes
Partie III. Soil evolution
III.1. Soil evolution cycles
III.2. Soil sequences
Partie IV. Applied pedology
IV.1. Interpretation of morphological and analytical data of typical soi profiles
IV.2. Classification principles
IV.3. Belgian soil typology principles (Tutorial)
IV.4. Soil descritpion in the international soil classification system (WRB)
IV.5. Functioning and management of major soils of the World
IV.6. Soil evolution and interactions with the biological environment (field trips)
Teaching methods
Teaching is in the form of lectures in classroom with active learning activities. Tutorial sessions in the field and in computer classroom are on the agenda as well as field trips to apply the concepts taught in lectures.
Evaluation methods
-       Group report on field sessions
- Oral exam
Other information
This course can be given in English.
Online resources
Lecture notes available on Moodle website
Support de cours facultatifs :
-       Livre : « Lectures notes of the major soils of the world »
-       Articles scientifiques accessibles sur Moodle
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Master [120] in Agricultural Bioengineering

Master [120] in Environmental Bioengineering

Master [120] in Agriculture and Bio-industries

Master [120] in Forests and Natural Areas Engineering