- © 2014 Mineralogical Society of America
Quantitative geochemical calculations are not possible without thermodynamic databases and considerable advances in the quantity and quality of these databases have been made since the early days of Lewis and Randall (1923), Latimer (1952), and Rossini et al. (1952). Oelkers et al. (2009) wrote, “The creation of thermodynamic databases may be one of the greatest advances in the field of geochemistry of the last century.” Thermodynamic data have been used for basic research needs and for a countless variety of applications in hazardous waste management and policy making (Zhu and Anderson 2002; Nordstrom and Archer 2003; Bethke 2008; Oelkers and Schott 2009). The challenge today is to evaluate thermodynamic data for internal consistency, to reach a better consensus of the most reliable properties, to determine the degree of certainty needed for geochemical modeling, and to agree on priorities for further measurements and evaluations.
Recent attention has been directed to arsenic (As) thermodynamic data, partly because of the worldwide recognition of arsenic poisoning in more than 70 countries (Nordstrom 2002; Ravenscroft et al. 2009) and the need to interpret As mobility more quantitatively in groundwater and surface-water systems. Unfortunately, not as many useful thermodynamic measurements have been made on reactions involving As compared to other major solutes and trace elements. Grenthe et al. (1992), when reviewing As data for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development/Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA) thermodynamic database on U, stated “Although needed, a complete reanalysis of the chemical thermodynamic data for arsenic species is not within the scope of the current review.” Although a complete reanalysis is not feasible at this time, this chapter reviews As thermodynamic data with a focus on internal consistency and the quality of the original measurements, updates with new data, …