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Chemical Oceanography and the Marine Carbon Cycle

  • Provides a thorough background to chemical oceanography, as well as coverage of contemporary topics such as the marine carbon cycle
  • Explains why the ocean is as it is by describing the chemical processes
  • Written by authors specialising in inorganic chemistry and organic chemistry, the text provides balanced coverage of both fields

By: Steven R Emerson(Author), John I Hedges(Author)

453 pages, 8 colour plates, 90 b/w photos, 106 b/w illustrations, 63 tables

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Apr 2008 | #173732 | ISBN-13: 9780521833134
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £64.99 $83/€72 approx

About this book

The principles of chemical oceanography provide insight into the processes regulating the marine carbon cycle. The text offers a background in chemical oceanography and a description of how chemical elements in seawater and ocean sediments are used as tracers of physical, biological, chemical and geological processes in the ocean. The first seven chapters present basic topics of thermodynamics, isotope systematics and carbonate chemistry, and explain the influence of life on ocean chemistry and how it has evolved in the recent (glacial-interglacial) past.

This is followed by topics essential to understanding the carbon cycle, including organic geochemistry, air-sea gas exchange, diffusion and reaction kinetics, the marine and atmosphere carbon cycle and diagenesis in marine sediments.

Ideal as a textbook for upper-level undergraduates and graduates in oceanography, environmental chemistry, geochemistry and earth science and a valuable reference for researchers in oceanography.

"[...] This book will make an excellent primary text for an upper level or graduate chemical oceanography course as well as an excellent reference for the advanced enthusiast. [...] The careful presentation of important oceanographic 'problems' interspersed with the necessary review of pure chemistry, biology, and earth science makes this book appropriate for a very broad audience. It is a much-needed addition to the tools for teaching chemical oceanography at both the undergraduate and graduate levels."
– Timothy Shaw, Professor of Chemistry, University of South Carolina



Part I. Introduction to Chemical Oceanography
1. Oceanography background
2. Geochemical mass balance
3. Thermodynamics background
4. Carbonate chemistry
5. Stable and radioactive isotopes
6. Life processes in the ocean
7. Paleoceanography and paleoclimatology

Part II. Advanced Topics in Marine Geochemistry
8. Marine organic geochemistry
9. Molecular diffusion and reaction rates
10. Gases and air - water exchange
11. The global carbon cycle
12. Chemical reactions in marine sediments


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Steven Emerson is Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington, specialising in inorganic geochemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and has worked in Europe as well as the US.

The late John Hedges was Professor of Oceanography at the University of Washington, specialising in organic geochemistry. He was the recipient in 2000 of the Geochemical Society's Alfred R. Treibs Award for lifetime achievement.

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