Organic Geochemistry , minaralogy
Biological markers (biomarkers) are complex molecular fossils preserved in the sedimentary environment which are derived from once living organisms. Our efforts in biomarker research are directed towards earth science as well as organic analytical chemistry. The aim of biomarker research is twofold: (1) to establish analytical methods suitable for the determination of the molecular distributions and (2)to explain the significance of the observed distributions within a geological framework. Important information which is obtained from our recent research includes the elucidation of the origin of the organic matter preserved in the source rock, environmental conditions which prevailed during the depositional process, changes which the organic matter experiences as a result of increased burial (a process termed diagenesis), the extent of thermal maturity experienced by a rock, the degree of biodegradation, aspects of source rock mineralogy(lithology) as well as estimation of the age. Furthermore, application of biomarker technology is useful not only in geology but also in the environmental sciences, since anthropogenic activities such as burning of fossil fuels and discharge of sewage into natural water bodies can be monitored as well.
1. Ogihara, S., Composition of clinoptilolite formed from volcanic glass during burial diagenesis, Clays and Clay Minerals, 48, 21-27, 2000.