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Geoscientist Online

Alkaline Rocks and Carbonatites of the World, Part 4: Antarctica, Asia and Europe (excluding the former USSR), Australasia and Oceanic Islands

CarbonatitesThe last part of a four-volume set on the distribution of alkaline rocks and carbonatites has recently been published by the Geological Society of London. As with the other volumes, the work is authored by a true authority of the subject, Dr Alan Woolley.

Woolley’s knowledge and enthusiasm for these rocks is reflected in this highly professional publication. Alkaline igneous rocks are an important source of mineral commodities including niobium, rare earth elements and phosphates. In addition, the study of alkaline rocks and carbonatites has greatly contributed to our understanding of crustal scale and mantle processes based on field, petrographic, mineralogical and geochemical studies.  Despite this, clearly identifying these rocks can be challenging, particularly in the areas covered within this volume, where such rocks were mis-identified in historical studies.

Consistent with the other volumes, the book is divided on the basis of geography and country. For each of these, a locality map and a cross-referenced list of occurrences is given.  Each alkaline and carbonatite complex is accompanied by a detailed geological map, geographical co-ordinates, details of the general geology, petrography, ages and, where relevant, economic aspects. An index at the end of the book provides easy access to sections on individual localities.

This is a unique reference source for alkaline igneous rocks that can be found outside of the generally recognised areas for these rocks. As with all previous volumes, it is well presented and will, I am sure, along with its companion volumes be the focal reference for generations to come on these enigmatic rocks.

Reviewed by Rob Bowell


ALKALINE ROCKS AND CARBONATITES OF THE WORLD, PART 4: ANTARCTICA, ASIA AND EUROPE (EXCLUDING THE USSR), AUSTRALIANA AND OCEANIC ISLANDS. Woolley, A.R. (2019) The Geological Society of London. 562 pp. (hbk) List price: £ 120.00 Fellow's price: £ 60.00 W: https://www.geolsoc.org.uk/MPAR4