Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Kinetic Theory in the Earth Sciences

Kinetic Theory in the Earth Sciences

Copyright Date: 1998
Pages: 822
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Kinetic Theory in the Earth Sciences
    Book Description:

    The Earth is shaped by processes as fleeting as molecular motion and as slow as the movement of tectonic plates. This landmark book is the first comprehensive treatment of the huge range of kinetic processes that lie along the continuum from one of these extremes to the other. A leading researcher in modern geochemistry and geophysics, Antonio Lasaga reviews the theories and quantitative tools that explain these processes, and he shows how they can be applied in the field and laboratory. Chapters focus on such theoretical topics as rate laws of chemical reactions, transport theory, diffusion, irreversible thermodynamics, nucleation theory, and the theory of crystal growth and dissolution. These theories help to explain such kinetic processes as molecular complexation, fluid flow, weathering, oxidation, nucleation, growth, magma generation, biological membrane reactions, atmospheric gas reactions, geochemical cycles, mantle creep, subduction, and erosion.

    Throughout, Lasaga emphasizes the need to view earth-science phenomena as ongoing processes--to add fully the element of time to models of earth dynamics. He draws on extensive knowledge of geology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics and makes creative use of numerous examples from both nature and the laboratory.Kinetic Theory in the Earth Scienceswill be essential reading for geologists and chemists who wish to understand the application of chemical kinetics to the workings of the Earth.

    Originally published in 1998.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-6487-4
    Subjects: General Science

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-2)
    Antonio C. Lasaga
  4. 1 Rate Laws of Chemical Reactions
    (pp. 3-151)

    Kinetics is the study of processes and as such it incorporates time into the study of earth sciences. The quantification of earth science processes is currently a very active area and a proper understanding of kinetics is a prerequisite to this endeavor. The time scales involved in this book will range from those describing molecular motion, 10−12sec, to those relevant to plate tectonic dynamics, 100 million years or 1015sec. Within this temporal span of 27 orders of magnitude lie a vast array of kinetic processes—molecular complexation, adsorption, surface reactions, fluid flow, diffusion, conduction, diagenesis, weathering, isotope exchange...

  5. 2 Transition State Theory
    (pp. 152-219)

    Any kinetic process can be broken down via the reaction mechanism into a sequence of elementary reactions (e.g., see chapter 1). In general, for a system of reactants and products making up any elementary reaction, it is useful to introduce a many-dimensional potential surface, which portrays the variation in energy of the system as a function of the positions of all the atoms involved. Because atoms are conserved in any elementary reaction, the number and type of atoms involved in any reaction are the same; only the configuration of the atoms changes. For some configurations of the atoms, the system...

  6. 3 Transport Theory
    (pp. 220-307)

    One of the basic processes that plays a significant role in kinetics is the physical transport of chemical components. There are numerous books dealing with this diverse and complex field. The essential elements of the theory will be incorporated in this chapter, with an emphasis on the links to the other kinetic topics in this book. It is crucial that the treatment of kinetics of homogeneous and heterogeneous reactions (e.g., chapter 1) be combined with the treatment of flow and diffusion to quantify properly most processes of interest either in earth sciences or materials sciences.

    In this chapter, the equations...

  7. 4 Diffusion
    (pp. 308-445)

    The physical transport of matter by diffusion is of paramount importance in a wide variety of materials processes as well as in earth sciences. For example, the production of different types of steel depends on the diffusion of carbon atoms into iron metal. On the other hand, the unwelcomed rusting of iron depends generally on the diffusion of oxygen atoms through an iron oxide layer. The principle behind polarography depends on diffusion of ions through a thin film. The movement of mass as well as heat above 100 km in the atmosphere is also controlled by diffusion. The transport of...

  8. 5 Irreversible Thermodynamics
    (pp. 446-496)

    The theory of irreversible thermodynamics has been widely quoted and used in earth sciences and materials sciences over the last decades. The kinetic theory is based, as the name implies, on thermodynamics and is hence a macroscopic (e.g., phenomenological) theory. The basis of the theory stems from a nonequilibrium extension of the second law of thermodynamics. The second law of thermodynamics introduces the important property entropy,S, defined for reversible (i.e., equilibrium) processes inclosedsystems as

    dS \equiv \frac{dQ_{\textrm{rev}}}{T} =\frac{dQ_{\textrm{equil}}}{T}.(5.1)

    Entropy also provides directionality to irreversible processes. The second law includes the following general result:

    dS >\frac{dQ_{\textrm{irrev}}}{T}.(5.2)

    Equations (5.1) and (5.2)...

  9. 6 Nucleation Theory
    (pp. 497-580)

    The vast majority of minerals formed in the earth are the result of the combined processes of nucleation and growth. Nucleation is the atomic process by which atoms of a reactant phase rearrange themselves into a cluster of the product phase large enough to be thermodynamically stable. Further enlargement of this cluster is then termed crystal growth. In this chapter, we will concentrate on the theory of nucleation. The next chapter will deal with crystal growth.

    While nucleation is undoubtedly a crucial step in many geologic or materials processes, both the theory and experimental data are still in the developmental...

  10. 7 Theory of Crystal Growth and Dissolution
    (pp. 581-712)

    The previous chapter on nucleation discussed the mechanism and rate of formation of nuclei stable enough to enable crystal growth to proceed. In this chapter, we now look at the process whereby atoms or molecules are added to these nuclei, i.e., at the rate of crystal growth. Because the addition of atoms during crystal growth occursatthe crystal surface, much of this chapter is focused on that interface between the new growing phase and the parent phase(s). It has become increasingly obvious that crystal growth cannot be properly understood without a good knowledge of the physical chemistry of surfaces....

  11. References
    (pp. 713-796)
  12. Subject Index
    (pp. 797-811)