Second Edition

John P. Smol

Book Cover Image

Smol, J.P. 2008.
Pollution of Lakes and Rivers:
A Paleoenvironmental Perspective
2nd Edition. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford. 383 pp.


Second Edition Ordering Information


Supplementary PowerPoint slides of the  textbook figures Download Here

ISBN 10 1405159138
Paperback  Second Edition
Print an Order Form for FAX or Mail-in: Click Here

4 Jan 2008
21 Jan 2008 (USA)

Second Edition Ordering Information


“The book is written in a very enjoyable style and the obvious enthusiasm of the author rings from the page.”
Catherine Duigan
Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems

“John Smol has produced an excellent introduction into how sedimentary records mainly from lakes but also from rivers, reservoirs and other environments can be used to study past environments …This is a terrific text for undergraduate and Masters students covering a vast range of material that is both accessible and up to date …”
Viv Jones
The Geographical Journal

“Much thought has gone into this book … The chapter headings in this book show the author’s facility with words and concepts …”
Frank E. Round
Diatom Research

“… the book is compact and highly readable and makes for an excellent introduction and overview of the current state of palaeolimnology … a valuable text for all students of environmental change”
Roger Flower
The Holocene

“… particularly well written. Smol’s vast experience in writing and editing is evident in his direct writing style … a fine contribution that is clearly written and suitable for student and seasoned investigator alike.”
Richard B. Brugam
Journal of Paleolimnology

“… John Smol has been one of the central figures in the field of paleolimnology throughout much of its modern development … the book is well written and highly informative. The examples cover much of the significant paleolimnological studies conducted during the past decades in different parts of our planet.”
Heiki Simola
SIL News

“I promise you will come away thinking!”
Nandini Kumar

Contact the Author

The Textbook

Water is an essential life resource, yet the pollution of lakes and rivers has become an international problem, reaching crisis proportions in many regions. As demands on aquatic resources escalate, we must find new approaches to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

Now in its second edition, Pollution of Lakes and Rivers addresses many of our present-day water quality problems from an international perspective, covering critical issues such as acidification, eutrophication, land-use changes, pollution by metals and other contaminants, climatic change, and biodiversity losses. It demonstrates how paleolimnological approaches can be used to interpret the physical, chemical, and biological information stored in lake and river sediments, and how this information is integral to identifying key environmental stressors and setting targets for mitigation purposes.

The expanded second edition includes over 250 additional references and a new chapter on recent climatic change and its effects on water quality and quantity. This comprehensive, up-to-date volume provides essential insights into a multi-disciplinary science aimed at tackling some of the most urgent environmental problems of modern times.

The Author

John P. Smol, FRSC is a professor in the Department of Biology at Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada), with a cross-appointment at the School of Environmental Studies. He is also co-director of the Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL), and holds the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change.  Professor Smol is the founding editor of the Journal of Paleolimnology (1987-2007), editor of the journal Environmental Reviews, and the Developments in Paleoenvironmental Research book series.  He has authored over 350 journal papers and book chapters, and has completed 16 books. Since 1990, he has won over 20 research awards and fellowships (including the 2004 NSERC Herzberg Canada Gold Medal, as Canada’s top scientist or engineer), as well as five teaching awards.

The Contents

Preface to the second edition

About the author

1 There is no substitute for water

2 How long is long?

3 Sediments: an ecosystem’s memory

4 Retrieving the sedimentary archive and establishing the geochronological clock: collecting and dating sediment cores

5 Reading the records stored in sediments: the present is a key to the past

6 The paleolimnologist’s Rosetta Stone: calibrating indicators to environmental variables using surface-sediment training sets

7 Acidification: finding the “smoking gun”

8 Metals, technological development, and the environment

9 Persistent organic pollutants: industrially synthesized chemicals “hopping” across the    planet

10 Mercury – “the metal that slipped away”

11 Eutrophication: the environmental consequences of over-fertilization

12 Erosion: tracking the accelerated movement of material from land to water

13 Species invasions, biomanipulations, and extirpations

14 Greenhouse gas emissions and a changing atmosphere: tracking the effects of climatic change on water resources

15 Ozone depletion, acid rain, and climatic warming: the problems of multiple stressors

16 New problems, new challenges

17 Paleolimnology: a window on the past, a key to our future