Welcome to the Organic Geochemistry Workgroup
Leader of the Workgroup
Prof. Dr. L. Schwark
Tel.: +49 431 880 2850
Fax: +49 431 880 4376
Albeit being a rather young sector of geosciences, organic geochemistry shows a widespread range of applications and is an important tool for studying the geobiosphere.
Biogenic products, both of natural or anthropogenic origin, pass from the biosphere into the geosphere to some extent after their release into the environment, frequently transiting the hydro- and atmosphere while doing so. Organic geochemistry studies the different chemical reactions of the organic material during its pathway into the subsurface. Essential for the alteration of the organic matter are the microbial activity, as well as the physical and chemical conditions of the environment (temperature, pressure, alkalinity, redox potential, etc.). As a result, specific molecular structures will be preserved or newly formed in addiction to the environmental conditions. Thus biomarkers occur, which can be used to interpret the distinctive formation conditions and are indicative of the source of the organic material.
The organic geochemistry includes the following domains: petroleum geochemistry, reconstruction of fossil environments, organic evolution, environmental contaminantion studies.