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The isotopic structures of geological organic compounds

Eiler, John M. and Clog, Matthieu and Lawson, Michael and Lloyd, Max and Piasecki, Alison and Ponton, Camilo and Xie, Hao (2017) The isotopic structures of geological organic compounds. In: From Source to Seep: Geochemical Applications in Hydrocarbon Systems. Geological Society special publication. No.468. Geological Society , London, pp. 53-81. ISBN 978-1-78620-366-3. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180605-073835827

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Abstract

Organic compounds are ubiquitous in the Earth's surface, sediments and many rocks, and preserve records of geological, geochemical and biological history; they are also critical natural resources and major environmental pollutants. The naturally occurring stable isotopes of volatile elements (D, ^(13)C, ^(15)N, ^(17,18)O, ^(33,34,36)S) provide one way of studying the origin, evolution and migration of geological organic compounds. The study of bulk stable isotope compositions (i.e. averaged across all possible molecular isotopic forms) is well established and widely practised, but frequently results in non-unique interpretations. Increasingly, researchers are reading the organic isotopic record with greater depth and specificity by characterizing stable isotope ‘structures’ – the proportions of site-specific and multiply substituted isotopologues that contribute to the total rare-isotope inventory of each compound. Most of the technologies for measuring stable isotope structures of organic molecules have been only recently developed and to date have been applied only in an exploratory way. Nevertheless, recent advances have demonstrated that molecular isotopic structures provide distinctive records of biosynthetic origins, conditions and mechanisms of chemical transformation during burial, and forensic fingerprints of exceptional specificity. This paper provides a review of this young field, which is organized to follow the evolution of molecular isotopic structure from biosynthesis, through diagenesis, catagenesis and metamorphism.


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https://doi.org/10.1144/SP468.4DOIArticle
Additional Information:© 2018 The Author(s). Published by The Geological Society of London.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180605-073835827
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20180605-073835827
Official Citation:The isotopic structures of geological organic compounds John M. Eiler, Matthieu Clog, Michael Lawson, Max Lloyd, Alison Piasecki, Camilo Ponton and Hao Xie Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 468, 53-81, 14 December 2017, https://doi.org/10.1144/SP468.4
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:86791
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:05 Jun 2018 14:52
Last Modified:05 Jun 2018 14:52

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