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Essentials of Geochemistry, Second Edition

Author(s): John V. Walther, PhD, Southern Methodist University
  • ISBN-13: 9780763759223
  • Hardcover    797 pages      © 2009
Price: $273.95 US List
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Updated throughout with the latest data and findings, the Second Edition of Essentials of Geochemistry provides students with a foundation in geochemistry and an introduction to the approaches used in modern geochemical analysis.  The text uses a "concepts of chemical equilibrium" approach, which considers the reactions that occur as a result of changes in heat production and pressure within the Earth, to introduce students to the basic geochemical principles. This text is suited to those who want a quantitative treatment that integrates the principles of thermodynamics, solution chemistry, and kinetics into the study of Earth processes.

This timely text contains numerous examples and problems sets, which use SUPCRT92, to allow students to test their understanding of thermodynamic theory and maximize their comprehension of this prominent field.

New sections introduce current  “hot” topics such as global geochemical change with the short- and long-term carbon cycle, carbon isotopes and the Permo-Triassic extinction event, kinetics and the origin of life, and the use of boron and nitrogen isotopes.

Preview Chapter 1

Preview Chapter 6 

Features & Benefits

The SUPCRT92 software is available online and allows students to work through thermodynamic calculations in the end of chapter problem sets.

Includes discussions of the development of the earth's atmosphere, ozone and the long and short term carbon cycles in chapter 16.

An expanded chapter on stable isotopes (Chapter 11) includes updated discussions of carbon, sulfur, and boron isotopes through time and global climate change.

Provides a solid introduction to organic geochemistry in Chapter 15 which includes new material on cellular chemical reactions, kinetics, and the origin of life.

An Online Instructor's  Solutions Manual is available. 

Applicable Courses

Essentials of Geochemistry, Second Edition is intended for introductory geochemistry courses. It is also an excellent resource for academic and industrial geologists and geochemists. 

Chapter  1  Introduction
Chapter  2  The Earth's Aggregate Physical and Chemical State
Chapter  3  Introduction to Thermodynamics
Chapter  4  Solutions and Simple Phase Relations
Chapter  5  Mineral Chemistry
Chapter  6  Aqueous Solutions
Chapter  7  Chemistry of Natural Waters
Chapter  8  Chemistry of Igneous Rocks
Chapter  9  Chemical Controls on Soil Formation, Diagenesis, Metamorphism, and Hydrothermal Ore Deposition
Chapter  10  Radioactive Isotope Geochemistry
Chapter  11  Stable Isotope Geochemistry
Chapter  12  Surface Sorption Geohemistry
Chapter  13  Chemical Kinetics
Chapter  14  Oxidation and Reduction
Chapter  15  Organic Geochemistry
Chapter  16  Atmospheric Chemistry
A  Conventions and Physical Constants
B  Common Conversion Factors
C1  Table of Elements with Atomic Number, Atomic Weight, and Valence States
C2  Electron Configuration of Neutral Elements
D  Atomic Abundance of Elements for the Whole Earth
E  Gibbs Energy and Volume of Liquid H2O
F1  Interactive Session with SUPCRT92
F2  Revised HKF Model for the Thermodynamic Properties of Aqueous Species
F3  Thermodynamic Data for Minerals
F4  Thermodynamic Data for Gases
F5  Thermodynamic Data for Aqueous Species
G1  Debye-Huckel A Parameters (in kg1/2 mole-1/2)
G2  Debye-Huckel B Parameters (in kg1/2 mole-1/2 A)
H  Decay Chain of Isotopes 238U, 232Th, and 235U Indicating the Half-Life of Each Isotope
I  Balancing Oxidation-Reduction Reactions
J  Conversion Factors between Solution Concentration Scales for a Single Solute

John V. Walther, PhD-Southern Methodist University

John V. Walther’s graduate education culminated in a PhD degree in Geology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1978. While at Berkeley, he worked under the direction of the theoretical high-temperature/pressure solution geochemist, Prof. Harold C. Helgeson. He then spent two years at Yale University as a Gibbs Instructor in the Geology and Geophysics Department, where he learn hydrothermal experimental techniques from Prof. Philip Orville. In 1985 he accepted an appointment in Northwestern University’s Geological Sciences Department in Evanston, IL. At Northwestern he rose to the rank of Professor, served as Chair of the Department of Geological Sciences and was the founding director of Northwestern’s Environmental Science Program.

            In 1994 Dr. Walther was appointed to the Matthews Chair of Geochemistry in the Geological Sciences Department at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. At S.M.U. he is the Director of the Environmental Sciences/Studies Program. His teaching responsibilities include courses in Oceanography, Resources and the Environment, Geochemistry, and Hydrogeology.

Additional Titles by this Author
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Online Instructor's Resources


Click HERE to request access to the online Instructor Resources.  Instructor material includes answers to end-of-chapter exercises and PowerPoint lecture slides.

The following instructor resources are available to qualified instructors for download

ISBN-13: 9780763759223

Additional Resources for Instructors
Answers to In-Text Questions
Slides in PowerPoint Format
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Student Resources


Student Resources

Downloading SUPCRT92
(An application to calculate thermodynamic properties)

Windows users 
Right click on and save the file to your desktop. In the folder double click on the application file: Sup92pc.exe to start a calculation.

Intel Mac System 10.4 and 10.5 users

Click on the file. Choose “save to disk”. Double click on the zip folder to uncompress. In the SUPCRT92 folder double click on the application file: SUPCRT92 to start a calculation.