Formation of Organic-Rich Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks

  • Ralf LittkeEmail author
  • Laura Zieger
Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbook of Hydrocarbon and Lipid Microbiology book series (HHLM)


Organic matter-rich sediments are deposited in a variety of continental and marine settings. Their formation strongly depends on bioproductivity and preservation of organic material, which in turn is affected by sediment composition as well as aerobic and anaerobic microbial activity. Burial, pressure, and temperature increase leads to loss of porosity and mineral reactions, ultimately to the formation of sedimentary rocks, and to transformation of primary biomass into insoluble and soluble sedimentary organic matter, i.e., kerogen and bitumen.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geology and Geochemistry of Petroleum and Coal, Energy and Mineral Resources GroupRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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