The interfaces between minerals and aqueous solutions (or atmospheric gases) play a major role in the geochemistry of Earth’s surface environment. The importance of such interfaces on a global scale is obvious when Earth is viewed from space (Fig. 1.1). At the molecular scale, reactions between mineral surfaces and aqueous solutions, atmospheric gases, and biological organisms are responsible for chemical weathering and the production of soils. Mineral-surface reactions also help control the sequestration, release, transport, and transformation of environmental contaminants and pollutants, both natural and anthropogenic, as well as plant nutrients in the biosphere. In addition, reactions of...

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