Principles of Geochemistry



Geochemistry is one of those broad fields of study that is difficult to define to the satisfaction of all those who work in it. One widely accepted definition is the traditional Goldschmidtian approach that considers geochemistry to be a study of the geological and chemical controls on the distribution of the elements within the earth. This is the definition of geochemistry that is implicit in the approach taken by this book. On the whole, the book does a commendable job in treating this aspect of geochemistry, although the quality of coverage for various subjects is far from uniform. For instance, the treatment of the distribution of major and trace elements caused by igneous processes is well organized and clearly written, whereas the chapter on metamorphic processes can only be described as excoriable. This is the fourth edition of a book that was first published in 1966, and, considering that the text deals with such long-dead issues as stress and antistress minerals, it seems to this reviewer that the chapter on metamorphic processes has not been updated since that date.