Series Preface

The main purpose of the IUPAC Series on Analytical and Physical Chemistry of Environmental Systems is to make chemists, biologists, physicists and other scientists aware of the most important biophysicochemical conditions and processes that define the behaviour of environmental systems. The various volumes of the Series thus emphasise the fundamental concepts of environmental processes, taking into account specific aspects such as physical and chemical heterogeneity, and interaction with the biota. Another major goal of the series is to discuss the analytical tools that are available, or should be developed, to study these processes. Indeed, there still seems to be a great need for methodology developed specifically for the field of analytical/physical chemistry of the environment.

The present volume of the series focuses on the use of fractal geometry to provide a quantitative description of disordered systems. By their very nature, environmental systems are disordered and are thus obvious candidates for quantitative description using fractal dimensions. In addition, the physical, chemical and biological properties and processes of natural systems can be described using a fractal approach. This includes the quantification of aggregate structures in air, water, soils and sediments; flow through porous media; distributions of organisms, adsorption phenomena and reaction kinetics. This volume was realised within the framework of the activities of the IUPAC Division of Chemistry and the Environment. We thank the IUPAC officers responsible, especially the executive director, Dr John Jost, for their support and assistance. Support from IUPAC provided the means to organize the discussion meeting of chapter authors (Bari, Italy, 2007), which formed such an essential step in the preparation and harmonisation of the various chapters of this book.

Jacques Buffle and Herman P. van Leeuwen

Series Editors

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