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Understanding the chemical composition of rocks assists petrochemical companies where to drill for oil; helps scientists to put together multi-ethnic theories about the way the Earth is changing; assist environmental management organizations choose how to dispose of a toxic or hazardous substance; and steers mining companies toward use of natural resources with a minimum environmental impact. Information on the chemical composition of geological materials is often of fundamental importance with in many branches of geosciences. In the beginning of the development of mineralogy and petrology, the classical wet chemical analytical methods were the only ones available and used mainly for the determination of major elements for the characterization and descript ion of minerals and rocks. Since then, an intensive research in analytical inorganic chemistry has led to the development of rapid and accurate instrumental analytical techniques with good element coverage and detects ion capabilities. This has been of much valuable for research with in geology and geochemistry, where the interest for chemical data has been strongly expanding, not only with regard to elements and concentration level, but also concerning the type of geological materials, which can range from solid rocks and sediments to water and air.

Chemical Fundamentals of Geology and Environmental Geoscience examines the distribution of chemical elements in rocks and minerals, as well as the movement of these elements into soil and water systems. The chapters contributed by world-wide authors presents geochemical methods of evaluation of anthropogenic influence on the environment and discusses the problem of defining and understanding the term “geochemical background” and related terms in environmental sciences. It also presents methods of geochemical background evaluation based on the results of environmental sample analyses. It stresses the role of geochemical background in our understanding of environmental pollution and pollution prevention. Dealing with significant analytical advances that are of wide interest in the community and extend significantly beyond the scope of what would be included in the research. Currently active processes are also very significant, particularly with respect to geochemical signatures in ‘transient’ media such as vegetation, soil and groundwater.