Production and Accumulation of Organic Matter The Organic Carbon Cycle

  • Bernard P. Tissot
  • Dietrich H. Welte


Production, accumulation and preservation of undegraded organic matter are prerequisites for the existence of petroleum source rocks. The term “organic matter” or “organic material”, as used in this book, refers solely to material comprised of organic molecules in monomeric or polymeric form derived directly or indirectly from the organic part of organisms. Mineral skeletal parts, such as shells, bones, and teeth are not included. First, organic matter has to be synthesized by living organisms and thereafter it must be deposited and preserved in sediments. Depending on further geological events, part of the sedimentary organic matter may be transformed into petroleum-like compounds. It is important to realize that during the history of the earth the conditions for synthesis, deposition, and preservation of organic matter has changed considerably.


Organic Matter Organic Carbon Total Organic Carbon Source Rock Free Oxygen 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard P. Tissot
    • 1
  • Dietrich H. Welte
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institut Francais du Pétrole and Ecole Nationale Supérieure du PétroleRueilFrance
  2. 2.Institut für Erdöl und Organische GeochemieKernforschungsanlage Jülich GmbHJülichGermany
  3. 3.Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische HochschuleAachenGermany

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