A Color Atlas of Carbonate Sediments and Rocks under the Microscope. – Review

A Color Atlas of Carbonate Sediments and Rocks under the Microscope. – Review – book reviews

Joel E. Arem

A Color Atlas of Carbonate Sediments and Rocks under the Microscope by A. E. Adams and W. S. MacKenzie. John Wiley & Sons, London. 180 pages; 1998; $49.95 (softbound).

This book, though a bit technical for the nongeologist, is so visually appealing that all geology students should be aware of it. It is the third in a series of photo-atlases (previous works 1984, 1994) by the same authors. It is intended as a lab manual to aid in identification of grain types and textures in carbonates, which are far more diverse and complex than, for example, sandstone grains. The photographs are all photomicrographs of thin sections; textures have been made more evident by etching and staining with either Alizarin Red S (calcite vs. dolomite) or with potassium ferricyanide (presence of ferrous iron). Obviously, there is a lot of subtlety in the use of such techniques, and it is evident that the authors are well versed in these nuances.

The main chapters of the book deal with grains (peloids, lithoclasts, bioclasts, and so on) and with diagenesis, porosity, and limestone classification. There is also a brief discussion of cathodoluminescence.

The production values of this book are excellent, with crisp photos and a lucid, to-the-point text. The book should be extremely useful to professional sedimentologists, petrologists and geochemists, and those involved with drill-core analysis. Collectors and hobbyists will be amazed at the microscopic diversity and beauty of rocks that may be much more drab and unspectacular in hand specimens.

Joel E. Arem Laytonsville, Maryland

COPYRIGHT 1999 Heldref Publications

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