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Geoscientist Online

The Aqueous Chemistry of Oxides

rdt6ute7iThe Earth is composed principally of oxides, and so the study and understanding of these materials is relevant to almost every branch of the Earth sciences.  This book aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the principle aspects of the interaction of aqueous solutions and oxides, and to act as a reference for those interested in this subject.  The book is principally focused on oxides in the environment but this is a broad-ranging text, and is not purely concerned with Earth system processes.  Included content also includes such subjects as glass dissolution and metal corrosion.

The book is primarily a technical text, covering numerous aspects of inorganic aqueous chemistry, and as such a reasonable comprehension of physical chemistry is required to elicit maximum value from its pages.  However, it is worth noting that as although a technical text, it is written in a very readable and relatively informal manner and provides an engaging overview of its subject matter.

The book is illustrated with numerous black and white figures throughout, with key illustrations included within a 27 colour plate insert in the text.  The selection of figures to be included as colour plates does not always appear to be logical, with many useful figures that would benefit from colour only given in black and white, and a number of colour plates produced of photographs that add little of scientific value.  However, this is a relatively minor quibble and illustrations are generally well used.

The book is arranged into seven sections, with several chapters within each section, covering distinct thematic areas of the subject - as well as a general introduction to oxides and oxide chemistry.  The layout ensures that navigation on the basis of subject area is straightforward, further aided by comprehensive substance and subject indexes.    

Much of the content could be regarded as general reference material for most Earth scientists, to be dipped in an out of as required.  Other sections however, such as those on ‘fundamental oxide reactions in aqueous solutions’ and ‘the environmental geochemistry of oxides’ should be considered for reading in their entirety as they contain much useful information, particularly on the subject of oxide weathering. 

Overall this is a book with much to recommend it, but with a list price of £97 is likely to be a carefully considered purchase for most readers.

Reviewed by John Heneghan

THE AQUEOUS CHEMISTRY OF OXIDES by BRUCE C BUNKER & WILLIAM H CASEY, 2016. Published by: Oxford University Press 604pp (hbk) ISBN: 9780199384259 List Price: £97.00. W: