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Organic Matter: The Driving Force for Early Diagenesis

  • Jürgen Rullkötter

Abstract

The organic carbon cycle on Earth is divided into two parts (Fig. 4.1; Tissot and Welte 1984). The biological cycle starts with photosynthesis of organic matter from atmospheric carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide/bicarbonate in the surface waters of oceans or lakes. It continues through the different trophic levels of the biosphere and ends with the metabolic or chemical oxidation of decayed biomass to carbon dioxide. The half-life is usually days to tens of years depending on the age of the organisms. The geological organic carbon cycle has a carbon reservoir several orders of magnitude larger than that of the biological organic carbon cycle (6.4–1015t C compared with 3–1012t C in the biological cycle) and a turn-over time of millions of years. It begins with the incorporation of biogenic organic matter into sediments or soils.

Keywords

Organic Matter Sedimentary Organic Matter Early Diagenesis Ganic Matter Hydrogen Index 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • Jürgen Rullkötter

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