Frontiers in geochemistry: contribution of geochemistry to the study of the earth

Frontiers in geochemistry: contribution of geochemistry to the study of the earth

Russell S Harmon and Andrew Parker (Eds)

Chichester, UK; Wiley-Blackwell 2011 | 280pp | ?39.99 (PB)

ISBN 9781405193375

Reviewed by Andrew Hursthouse


Source: © Wiley-Blackwell

The UN designated 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth

Our investigation of earth processes has been underpinned by geochemistry. In the last century, the rapid advance in chemical knowledge and tools has allowed a detailed insight into the structure and mechanisms responsible for elemental migration through the earth. The subject continues to evolve, and it is fitting that in recognition of the UN’s designation of 2008 as the International Year of Planet Earth, we are treated to an authoritative review of the past and a glimpse to the future of geochemistry.

This volume is a compilation of 12 contributions from across the geochemistry community. They provide an up to date insight into the subject and have been written in an accessible style. The book does not miss any of the major scientific developments or theory, ensuring relevance to a wide readership.

The contributions are gathered into two sections. The first focuses on the geochemistry of major earth components, including the evolution of the constituents of the solid earth and its gaseous and liquid envelopes, and major interactions, such as weathering.

In the second, the remaining chapters give a glimpse of the interaction of geochemistry with human and wider biological systems. Issues dealt with include disruptions of major geochemical cycles and the influence of human activity on the geochemical environment. Also featured are the interactions between microbiology and other disciplines, and emerging topics at the nanoscale.

This book provides a view of current challenges in what is ultimately a fascinating volume, suitable for all those interested in earth systems and a must read for geologists and chemists alike.

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