Geochemical Balance

geochemical balance

[¦jē·ō¦kem·ə·kəl ′bal·əns]
The proportional distribution, and the migration rate, in the global fractionation of elements, minerals, or compounds; for example, the distribution of quartz in igneous rocks, its liberation by weathering, and its redistribution into sediments and, in solution, into lakes, rivers, and oceans.

Geochemical Balance


the balance between the weight of the chemical elements that entered the ocean during the weathering of igneous rock (proportional to its clarks) during the earth’s existence and the weight of chemical elements that make up sedimentary rocks (taking into account water and carbon dioxide) together with the weight of chemical elements conserved in the marine zone. According to W. M. Goldschmidt, who introduced the idea of geochemical balance in 1933, 160 kg of igneous rock have been washed from each square centimeter of the earth’s surface, since its existence to give rise (with hydration, oxidation, and carbonization) to 169.6 kg of sedimentary rock per square centimeter of surface. Knowing the clarks of the hydrosphere and the mean composition of the sedimentary rock, a geochemical balance can be set up for each element. Empirical data show that the geochemical balance is not always kept and that it is disrupted for a number of elements (particularly for chlorine, sulfur, boron, and calcium).


Goldschmidt, W. M. “Osnovy kolichestvennoi geokhimii.” Uspekhi khimii, 1934, vol. 3, issue 3. (Translated from German.)
Ronov, A. B., and A. A. Iaroshevskii. “Khimicheskoe stroenie zemnoi kory.” Geokhimiia, 1967, no. 11.