Practical estuarine chemistry

Practical estuarine chemistry

200 to this field. My main criticism is the author's tendency for repetition in some chapters, but this is a minor criticism of a book that does accom...

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200 to this field. My main criticism is the author's tendency for repetition in some chapters, but this is a minor criticism of a book that does accomplish what the author sets out to achieve and should be a useful text to those marine and earth scientists researching this area. G.B. JONES (Townsville, Qld., Australia)

Practical Estuarine Chemistry. Estuarine and Brackish-Water Sciences Association Handbook. P.C. Head (Editor). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, £25.00, hardback, ISBN 0 521 30165 3. This handbook is exactly what its title requires. A well produced book which has been immaculately edited. Each chapter is an individual statement based on long first-hand experience and professional knowledge. The handbook explains clearly and carefully each step from the initial planning of an appropriate survey to the ultimate formulation of data, their analysis, interpretation and presentation in correct and easily understood form. The opening chapter by A.W. Morris looks at survey strategies in relation to needs and environments and progressively develops models of increasing complexity. Since many factors such as tides, currents, freshwater and seawater flows, suspended matter, nutrients, biochemical variables, metals and pollutant inputs can be involved and must be harmonised, students might find it hard work to absorb but each contributes to a proper understanding. T.W. Leatherland picks up at this stage with thoroughly practical advice on field operations, mobility, position fixing, sample handling and methods of in situ measurement. The next stages of detailed sample arrangements and sample preservation described by P.C. Head lead on to the range of chemical analysis in the laboratory with an assessment of the most frequently used instruments. Limitations on analysis at sea are discussed. Meaningful analysis of trace metals, individually or in groups, demands successful management of sampling and handling operations, storage and necessary preparation before analysis. Only after careful discussion of these factors does S.R. Aston go on to outline the range of microanalytical techniques, their advantages and limitations and the paramount considerations of calibration and interpretation. P.J. le B. Williams follows on parallel lines for the determination and analysis of organic matter. The topic of ion-selective electrodes is given a more theoretical basis by M. Whitworth who explains that this groundwork is essential to the critical appraisal of the advantages and disadvantages of various electro-analytical systems and the chemical conditions demanded for meaningful measurements. To complement all this careful work P.C. Head outlines the steps in producing a sound presentation. This emphasizes conventions on chemicalunits and suggests pictorial demonstrations of the adjustment of results with respect to tidal state, variation in river flow, mixing processes, profiles in relation to

201 morphology and season. On this basis results are assessed, conclusions formulated and tested. This handbook is eminently suitable for college and university students learning and practising the chemistry of estuaries. Also, since responsibility for environmental management and assessment sometimes lies with those lacking such specific training, mistakes and much vain effort might be spared by following this expert advice. There is an earlier handbook by this association, namely "Estuarine Hydrography and Sedimentation" edited by K.R. Dyer, Cambridge University Press, 1979 and a third handbook on estuarine biology is in preparation. R. J O H N S T O N (Aberdeen, Gt. Britain)

Marine and Estuarine Geochemistry. A.C. Sigleo and A. Hattori (Editors). Lewis Publishers Inc., Michigan, £35.90, hardback, ISBN O 87371 007 X. This is an up-to-date and worthwhile publication, firmly organised, yet sprinkled with errors and unclear usages. Judged by the unelaborated title readers might expect a textbook, but this is a symposium volume involving some 22 Pacific Basin contributions. Admittedly finding a suitable title was difficult since the subjects are numerous and unusually diverse, defying a simple headline. The editors have achieved economical formal presentation of the results, discussions, conclusions and bibliographies but I found the index, amounting to less than three scant pages serving 327 pp. of text, less informative than the list of titles. Regrettably also, valuable space has been allotted to specious generalities in the introductions; mere baby talk in the prevailing expert level of communication. Aquatic chemists generally will find an impressive array of new technologies tackling projects such as natural isotopic distributions of elements, detailed organic analyses, formation and distribution of organometallic compounds and the speciation of many trace elements. The volume of new data, much from advanced instrumental analysis, is impressive and new dynamic interpretations are introduced. There are also a few papers on familiar nutrients and transport processes and one on bacteria. Although geographically dedicated to estuarine, coastal and deep ocean waters of the Pacific Basin, this need not inhibit any chemist interested in virtually any aspects of chemistry, occurrence, distribution turnover and fate of elements and a wide range of organic and inorganic substances in soluble, biological and particulate phases. Anthropogenic inputs and radioactive artefacts are features but most emphasis is on natural materials. The minor shortcomings are heavily outweighed by the rich choice of subject matter and novel applications of advanced analytical techniques on offer. I therefore commend this volume to those teaching or reading advanced