Understanding Our Planet Through Chemistry

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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 that 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. . INDEX Foreword I. Introduction II. Understanding the Earth IIa. History recorded in chemistry. How old is the Earth? III. Mapping the chemistry of the Earth`s surface IIIa. Assessment of public lands IV. Can we depend on chemical analyses? IVa. Measuring quality FOREWORD This document describes the role of chemistry in issues vital to our economy, health, and well-being. When we are analyzing a sample of the Earth, we never ask if a specific element is present. Virtually every sample of the Earth contains every natural element at some amount. The more appropriate questions are: How much of it is present? Is there enough to be mined profitably? In the environment, is it dangerous at this level or in this form? And after we`ve identified the issues that we need to solve about our planet, we then need to ask, What clues can we find that will give us the answer? We will show you how many geologic problems are solved using routine analyses of the major components of rocks. We will also show you the complexity of analyzing trace amounts of common components in extremely small samples, such as rare ...

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