Since the first edition of Economic Geology was published, both science and practice of economic geology have advanced in great strides. Improvements in understanding the Earth's process systems that form raw material deposits are reflected in this revised second edition. The scientific ambition of the book is to place the extraordinary variability of mineral deposits into the framework of fundamental petrogenetic- geological process systems.
The book covers the entire field of geology applied to mineral deposits, including industrial minerals, coal and hydrocarbons. Illuminating insights, for example, can be gained from sediments, rich in organic matter, that are primarily source rocks of conventional hydrocarbons, but also host unconventional oil and gas, and metal deposits.
Numerous individual mineral deposits are presented as practical examples, covering reserve figures, ore grade, origin and geological characteristics. The principles of searching for ores and minerals (exploration), the study and valuation of newly found deposits, and environmental issues are treated in a separate chapter. The overview character enforces waiving much detail but for compensation, ample cross-references and references to web and printed sources are provided. The number of humans on our globe continues to increase and standards of living improve rapidly. Both contribute to a steadily rising consumption of raw materials. Economic geology is a central actor in satisfying this growing demand by exploration and mining, and by mediating social and environmental impacts.
The text also discusses related issues that arise during the life cycle of a mine and after its closure, with an emphasis on sustainable and 'green' mining.
Worldwide, students and teachers of economic geology and related disciplines will find the great lines of thinking and tangible information throughout Economic Geology. For professionals in mining and exploration, in intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the service sector and state administrations, current professional practice is introduced.
What are ore deposits? 1
Mining in the stress field between society and environment 2
The mineral resources conundrum 4
Part I Metalliferous Ore Deposits
1 Geological ore formation process systems (metallogenesis) 5
2 Economic geology of metals 157
Part II Non-Metallic Minerals and Rocks
3 Industrial minerals, earths and rocks 311
4 Salt deposits (evaporites) 397
Part III The Practice of Economic Geology
5 Geological concepts and methods in the mining cycle: Exploration, exploitation and closure of mines 443
Part IV Fossil Energy Raw Materials – Coal, Oil and Gas
6 Coal 500
7 Petroleum and Natural Gas Deposits 551
Color Plates 613
The New Age of Economic Geology – Epilogue 645
References, General Index, Location Index, Box Titles 647
Walter L. Pohl is Emeritus Professor and former Dean of the Faculty of Geosciences at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany, and a longtime consulting geologist in economic, engineering and environmental geology.
"[...] The holistic approach of this book results in an excellent introduction to the spectrum of knowledge used by economic geologists and would be a valuable addition to any library. The material presented is not only useful to the geoscientist but also to the economist, investor, and government official, all of whom play an important roll in the economic and regulatory sides of the natural resources industry."
– Brian A. McNulty, University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA
"The author challenges some petrified public perceptions about mineral raw materials. Ever again, an impending depletion of some metal or mineral is announced by ‘experts’ and is taken up eagerly by the media. Throughout the book, current published reserve and resource figures of metals and minerals are cited, which show no historic decrease in the availability of resources, evidencing that human creativity is unlimited. The Epilogue reaffirms that green mining is under way and must be the future to maintain sustainability. For students and teachers, a companion page on the website of the publishers will support users of the book."
– European Geologist journal, issue 50, November 2020
"Let me finish this review with Walter Pohl’s words, which make clear why reading this book is important: “well-managed extraction of minerals has every potential to contribute to the well-being of mankind, to increase material prosperity, to maintain a sustainable and vital social and natural environment, and peace.”
– Christian Wolkersdorfer, Mine Water and the Environment 40, 2021