Geochemistry for Hydrologists by B.C.Raymahashay, pp.192, Allied Publishers Ltd., New Delhi (Price Rs.180/-)

With growing concerns about environment and water pollution, understanding geochemistry of natural waters has become indispensable. Although, there are numerous books on hydrology and geohydrology, there are few books that deal with hydro-geochemistry. Water plays an active role in the geochemical cycle. It is important to understand how the present chemistry of water is attained in order to estimate possible contribution from anthropogenic activities. This book elegantly introduces various basic aspects of geochemistry pertaining to natural water systems.

Chapters one to six deal with basic concepts of low temperature geochemistry in a manner that a student or non-specialist can easily assimilate. Chapters seven and eight deal with quality of biotic waters and scavenging of pollutants by soil and sediments will be interesting to students, as well as, professionals (hydrologists, geologists and environmentalists).

However, surprisingly no reference whatsoever, has been made to the non-conservative hazardous chemical characteristics (like BOD, COD and DO) which are vital in deciding the status of organic pollution in water bodies. A discussion of these parameters, in the light of ongoing reoxygenation and related processes in rivers would have made the otherwise excellent book a self contained treatise on the subject. In Chapter nine on water quality in geothermal areas, mineral equilibria at elevated temperatures has been discussed in reasonable details.

The book contains standard methods of analysis given in Appendix-I and atomic weights in Appendix-II along with usefull author and subject indices. The book has neat diagrams and informative table. There are numerous data on and examples of indian water systems- which will be appealing to Indian workers and those interested in the subcontinent.

This may be recommended as text-book to senior-graduate/post-graduate students of geology and hydrology. It will be a handy reference book to hydrologist, geologist and environmental scientists. At the cost of Rs.180/- it is very affordable to everyone including students.


University of Roorkee


Cretaceous Stratigraphy and Palaeoenvironments

L.Rama Rao Volume editor - Ashok Sahni, Published by Geological Society of India, Bangalore, 1996. pp. 433+XIVII, (A contribution to the IGCP. No. 350).

The Geological Society of India, in particular Dr. B.P. Radhakrishnan should be congratulated in bringing out this centenary tribute volume, to honour Prof. L. Rama Rao on his 100th birthday.

The volume (433 pp+) contains 24 anithaitatin papers centred around cretaceous stratigraphy and paleoenvironments, a subject which was very dear to Prof. L. Rama Rao. Prof. Rama Rao was a pioneer in focusing attention on the cretaceous-Tertiary boundary of South India in particular and on the stratigraphic position of Deniam is India and abroad,

Indian stratigraphers and paleontologists, all these forty years, have been publishing papers on conventional lives, defining and redefining union bio-zones, lithozones, chrono-stages, magneto start zones, taxonomic descriptions of fossil species etc. The international community have opened up many new lines of investigations i.e. paleobiogeochemistry, DNA studies on certain fossil communties, paleoenvironmental reconstructions based on geochemical and geological date etc. Indian counterparts have still to catch up with the rest of the world.

It would have been of great help to the reader if the editor has highlighted the additions to our present state of knowledge brought out by the contributions of this volume. A word of advice on the new lines of future lines researches to the undertaken by the Indian stratigraphers and paleontologists, could have been welcome.

It has been said that geologists go on accumulating voluminous data, under which they get buried and struggle to have peep hole. (Ref-Princeton university publication, 1975)

The papers are grouped into 3 categories-1) Regional geology and stratigraphy (8 papers) 2) cretaceous stratigraphy and paleontology of South India (5 papers) 3) Boundary problem and paleoenvironmental changes (11 papers)

The first paper by DSN Raju and P K Misra is an excellent review on the cretaceous stratigraphy of India, which can be the brain for future work, though certain papers are present and references are not complete.

A complimentary paper from Pakistan by S A Sheikh and S.Naseem and from Bhutan. by O N Bhargava and SK Tangri and useful contribution to complete the scenario of Indian subcontinent.

Six paper one each from China, canada, Japan, and Madagascar present a refreshing peep into some aspects from those countries.

T.Jevzy Kiewocycz s paper on Dinosaurian habitats of Canada present an excellent summation of the habitats and inferential implication on a global scale.

H.Okada has beautifully brought out the stratigraphic sedimentological and tectonic inter- relationship in Japan.

Further he realised the importance of orbitolina limestones in the tectomic set up of Japan, which was missed by DSN range in the case of India.

S.A.Zafor s paper on naurofossils need some clearer understanding of tectonic elements as presented in his fig 1. The Krishna Godavari graben is to be named as Pranhita-Godavari Graben and the Cauvery-Palar, Jaisalmer, Kutch etc. basins cannot be called tectonimic elements of India.

A Govindan et al. s paper on Cretaceous stratigraphy of Cauvery basin is a good conventional paper. But the authors planktonic forminiferal zonation does not seem to tally into DSN Raju s zonation presented in this volume.

Krishna-Godavri basin s pre-Aptia n sediments drew attention of V. Narayan Prasad et al, a good addition to our existing knowledge.

The classic Uttatur group received attention V.Narayanan and R.K. Banerjee et al, Banerjee redefined and refined the Uttatur stage, which has to be accepted by others.

The geochemical study of Cenomanian-Turonian boundary of Japan is intereting, as made out by Z. Arai and H.Hirano. A close 1 meter intreval sediments of Cenomanian-Turonian boudary (A noxic event) section of 40 metres thickness, was analysed for major, minor and rare earth elements, to reconstruct the redox conditions and assess the plume activity as the ultimate cause of the geological event. Such studies should be initated in India-one candidate can be the Krishna-godavari basin, including the Pranhito-godavairi graben, to study the Plume effect on possible anoxic events.

Calcareous neufofossils from Cenomanian-Turonian boundary from Spain, were use studied by MA Larold and A. Gorostidi and they give us a peep into that part of the world.

Palynology, extinction of dinosaurs and volcanic (island) arcs are brought in under one canvas by A.Sabri, Same statements made need elusidation. The lure of Plate tectonics to explain many gelogical events and Fossil fauna may be there but the observations and conclusions need clear explanation.

Maestrichtian non-marine ostracord from peninsular India formed the subject of study by S.B. Bhatia

They compared the assemblage with that of Central Asia, Mongolia and China, which is interesting.

K/T boundary, Iridium enrichment and dinosur egg shells formed an intersting study by S.B Bajpai, The findings are not yet conclusive.

A Correlation between abnormally very thin dinosorian egg shells from Madhaya Pradesh and the Deccan Volcanic was drawn by S.Srinivasan. One of the causes for thin shells was inferred to be the emission of poisonous gases thrown out by the Deccan basalts.

Palaeoenvironment of microvertebrates from inter-trappean beds of naskal, A.P. was investigated by G.V.R Prasad and C.K Khajuna, who conclude that the instantaneous death of the animals could have been due to desiccation of lakes due to drought conditions.

The well known Lameta sediments of Maharashtra were studied in detail by D.M. Mohabey who conclude that the deposition took place under semi-arid conditions and the K/T boundary is identified in the uppermost sequence of the Lamatas and the presence of lridium was noted of uppermost levels.

The cretaceous sand stones bearing Uranium from Meghalaya their depositional environment was studided by Eric D guz,

The concluding paper of this volume is very interesting one, dealing with the cretaceous phytogeography and climate of Asia, based on qualitative and quantitative paleo botanical data, by Robert A.Spicer, The paleobotanical data and the model prediction show maximum terrestrial primary productivity moves from low to high latitudes, as warming takes place and the topics become more arid.

The reviewer feels that the volume could have an added value if some of Prof Rama Rao s old students, who are active in the line, had also contributed.

At the end it should be said that this Memorial Volume should find a place in the shelves of the all Indian Universities and research Institutes connected with Earth Sciences.



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