USGS - science for a changing world

Understanding Our Planet Through Chemistry

Schematic diagram of ICP Atomic Emission Spectrometry.

Understanding Our Planet Through Chemistry

This U.S.Geological Survey site shows how chemists and geologists use analytical chemistry to: determine the age of the Earth; show an extraterrestrial body collided with the Earth; predict volcanic eruptions; observe atmospheric change over millions of years; and document damage by acid rain and pollution of the Earth's surface.

Compiled by Joseph E. Taggart, Jr.

Edited by Carole A. Bates and Sonja K. Runberg
Graphics and photos by Richard P. Walker, Shawn T. Smith, and Steven M. Smith
Composition by Margo L. Johnson


INDEX

Foreword

I. Introduction

II. Understanding the Earth

IIa. History recorded in chemistry

IIb. Geologic processes

IIc. Environment

IId. Pollution

IIe. Pollution prevention

III. Mapping the chemistry of the Earth's surface

IIIa. Assessment of public lands

IIIb. Geographic Chemistry: National Geochemical Data Base

IIIc. Public Health and Safety: Element maps of soils

IV. Can we depend on chemical analyses?

IVa. Measuring quality

 

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