Organic geochemistry

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This article is about the subject organic geochemistry. For the academic journal, see Organic Geochemistry.

Organic geochemistry is the study of the impacts and processes that organisms have had on the Earth. The study of organic geochemistry is usually traced to the work of Alfred E. Treibs, "the father of organic geochemistry."[1] Treibs first isolated metalloporphyrins from petroleum. This discovery established the biological origin of petroleum, which was previously poorly understood.[2] Metalloporphyrins in general are highly stable organic compounds, and the detailed structures of the extracted derivatives made clear that they originated from chlorophyll.

The relationship between the occurrence of organic compounds in sedimentary deposits and petroleum deposits has long been of interest.[3] Studies of ancient sediments and rock provide insights into the origins and sources of oil petroleum geochemistry and the biochemical antecedents of life.

Modern organic geochemistry includes studies of recent sediments to understand the carbon cycle, climate change, and ocean processes.


  1. ^ Kvenvolden, Keith A. (2006). "Organic geochemistry – A retrospective of its first 70 years". Organic Geochemistry 37: 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.orggeochem.2005.09.001. 
  2. ^ Treibs, A.E. (1936). "Chlorophyll- und Häminderivate in organischen Mineralstoffen". Angewandte Chemie 49: 682–686. doi:10.1002/ange.19360493803. 
  3. ^ Trask, P.D. "Origin and Environment of Source Sediments" The Gulf Publishing Co., 1932, Houston, TX.