David J. Burdige’s Geochemistry of Marine Sediments (Princeton Univeristy Press, New Jersey/Oxfordshire, 2006) is a comprehensive publication on all the components of marine sediments and every significant process involved in their derivation, transport, lithification, and diagenesis. The book cruises through the marine environment with the eyes of a detail-oriented observer, revealing the surface and pelagic (deep sea) geochemical processes and the mechanisms by which they contribute to the prospective shape, composition, and other properties of marine sediments.
Of particular interest and importance in Professor Burdige’s book is his treatment of the role of organic geochemical components throughout the sedimentation and post-depositional (diagenetic) alteration of marine sediments. In a broader sense, this approach bridges the gap between the inanimate (inorganic) elements of our planet and the animate (organic) components of the earth. Marine organisms, fluid media, and sediments forming/settling in oceans are seen, perhaps for the first time, in a detailed continuum of physiochemical interaction. Not only does this probe into the marine geochemical environment build an invaluable basis of fundamental knowledge about the subject but the book also comes as a guide for the explorers of fossil fuels (the matured products of organic matter).
Geochemistry of Marine Sediments is exhaustively illustrated with figures, tables, mathematical equations, schematic representations of the relation between various components and processes operating in the marine realm, and many profile diagrams for depicting the relation of factors s involved in the processes relating to the sedimentation and diagenesis of marine sediments. Most impressive is Professor Burdige’s complete list of references at the end of the book-a great resource for the research-oriented reader in the relevant field(s) of study-geology, chemistry, and biology. For all graduate students, and above, this book is a self-contained course in both basic and advance marine geochemistry.