About this book
Systems at the surface of the Earth are continually responding to energy inputs derived from solar radiation or from the radiogenic heat in the interior. These energy inputs drive plate movements and erosion, exposing metastable mineral phases at the Earth’s surface. In addition, these energy fluxes are harvested and transformed by living organisms. As long as these processes persist, chemical disequilibrium at the Earth’s surface will be perpetuated. Chemical disequilibrium is also driven by human activities related to production of food, extraction of water and energy resources, and burial of wastes. To understand how the surface of the Earth will change over time, we must understand the rates at which reactions occur and the chemical feedbacks that relate these reactions across extreme temporal and spatial scales. This book addresses fundamental and applied questions concerning the rates of water-rock interactions driven by tectonic, climatic, and anthropogenic forcings.