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Economic geology defines the application of geology, with all its specialties, to the discovery of fossil fuels, geothermal and nuclear energy sources, metallic and nonmetallic mineral deposits, water resources, and as the basis for civil works, all of which are of obvious economic and social value.

Disciplines in economic geology range from the exact sciences—advanced mathematics, physics, chemistry, geodetics, etc.—to the natural sciences such as micro- and macropaleontology, crystallography, petrology, mineralogy, volcanology, geochemistry, geochronology, and geohydrology.

The various elements of Mexico’s economic geology are discussed in the chapters of this volume by outstanding Mexican geologists, whose expertise vouches for the high quality of this presentation. Their efforts are a valuable contribution to the knowledge of Mexico’s nonrenewable resources.

The importance of the decision to carry out this project lies in the close interconnection of the earth sciences to the country’s social and economic development. No country can develop without a solid knowledge of the necessary basic conditions—energy, water, and mineral resources—as well as the technical capacity to put them to effective use and the appropriate political stability, financial backing, and adequate educational level and general health of the population. Mexico fulfills these conditions; however, a comprehensive technical-scientific overview of its nonrenewable and water resources had not been attempted until now. The present status of the nonrenewable resources of the country, their interrelations, and the criteria guiding the present (1985) economic and social activity as well as the plans for future development are subjects for future volumes.

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