12.491 Advanced Seminar in Geology and Geochemistry: Organic Geochemistry

Fall 2005

Structure of a sterane molecule.
The characteristic structure of a sterane molecule, a biomarker. Living organisms possess exclusively one type of sterol, but during diagenesis and catagenesis, steranes are gradually transformed, until an equilibrium is reached. Thus, the ratio of transformed steranes to untransformed steranes can be used to estimate the maturity of sedimentary rock and the thermal history of a sedimentary basin. (Image by Prof. Roger Summons.)

Course Highlights

This course features a complete reading list.

Course Description

12.491 is a seminar focusing on problems of current interest in geology and geochemistry. For Fall 2005, the topic is organic geochemistry. Lectures and readings cover recent research in the development and properties of organic matter.
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Prof. Roger Summons

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session