Organic matter has been found in the juvenile ash of seven volcanoes in Kamchatka, the Kurile Island and Indonesia. Its amount in one eruption is of the order of 100 000 tons. This matter constitutes a multicomponent mixture (more than 150 components) of, mainly, high-boiling (b.p. over 250°C) organic compounds of a complex structure. These are represented by hydrocarbons of saturated and aromatic nature, and, among them, polycyclic hydrocarbons, amino acids, amino sugars and other heteroatomic molecules, also containing N, O, S and Cl. The formation of the above mentioned organic compounds is associated with volcanic processes—with abiogenous synthesis taking place in ash-gas clouds and, possibly, in the entrails of the Earth (hydrocarbons and their heteroatomic derivatives have also been found in volcanic bombs). On the strength of these facts, volcanic phenomena are regarded as the process which serves as the starting point of the chemical evolution from the inanimate to the animate matter.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Grossenbacher, K.A. and Knight, C.A.: 1965, in S. W. Fox (ed.),The Origins of Prebiological Systems and of Their Molecular Matrices, Academic Press, New York and London, p. 173.
Harada, K. and Fox, S. W.: 1965, in S. W. Fox (ed.),The Origins of Prebiological Systems and of Their Molecular Matrices, Academic Press, New York and London, p. 187.
Markhinin, E. K.: 1967,Rol vulkanizma v formirovanii zemnoi kory, Publ. Nauka, Moscow.
Miller, S. L.: 1953,Science 117, 528.
About this article
Cite this article
Markhinin, E.K., Podkletnov, N.E. The phenomenon of formation of prebiological compounds in volcanic processes. Origins Life Evol Biosphere 8, 225–235 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00930684
- Organic Matter
- Organic Chemistry