Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Sorption by mineral surfaces: Rebirth of the classical condensation pathway for kerogen formation?

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matthew Collins, Dr Paul Farrimond


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


What are the consequences for organic matter diagenesis of the observation in two recently published articles of a strong correlation between surface area and organic content in marine sediments? The findings suggest that the typical mode of occurrence of organic matter in marine sediments is as a monolayer (or equivalent concentration) sorbed to the surface of mineral grains. This comment considers the theoretical factors which may influence adsorption and propagation of polymeric organic matter on mineral surfaces, and looks at the likely diagenetic fate of adsorbed material. Both adsorption and condensation have been suggested as possible mechanisms for the preservation of labile biopolymers, but neither process is satisfactory as a stand-alone mechanism; adsorption of monomers can merely retard their biodegradation, and condensation is not favoured in solution. However, if the two processes operate in concert, the criticisms levelled against each process considered in isolation are cancelled out, adsorption promoting condensation and condensation enhancing the strength of adsorption of the products. We suggest that the diagenetic modifications of surface adsorbed organic molecules will tend to strengthen their binding to the mineral surface, such that the geomacromolecules will evolve on the mineral surface towards strongly bound monolayers. The hypothesis overcomes many of the objections to the so-called classical condensation pathway of kerogen formation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Collins MJ, Bishop AN, Farrimond P

Publication type: Note

Publication status: Published

Journal: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta

Year: 1995

Volume: 59

Issue: 11

Pages: 2387-2391

Print publication date: 01/06/1995

ISSN (print): 0016-7037

ISSN (electronic): 1872-9533


DOI: 10.1016/0016-7037(95)00114-F