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Fossiles moléculaires d'intérêt microbiologique, pétrolier, agronomique et environnemental

Abstract : Molecular fossils, or "fossil biomarkers", are powerful tools to study the source, the transformation and the fate of organic matter in modern and ancient ecosystems. As "source biomarkers", fossil molecules give insights on the biological origin of fossil organic matter. Unexpectedly, the discovery of new fossils of unknown living source, called "orphan fossils", can lead to the later discovery of novel classes of biological substances, such as bacterial hopanols. In agronomy, 13C isotope analysis of plant biomarkers in soils allows to study, for the first time, the dynamics of humic substances at the molecular level. As "process biomarkers", their molecular structure and 13C composition yield informations on biogeochemical reactions occurring in very complex media such as soils and sediments. As "maturity biomarkers", molecular fossils can be used to measure the thermal maturity of sedimentary organic matter with increasing burial depth. Maturity biomarkers are therefore widely used in petroleum exploration. Maturity biomarkers can also be used to assess the occurrence of a fossil pollution in modern ecosystems, e.g. petroleum pollutants. Thus, the concept of fossil biomarkers developed in petroleum geochemistry can now be used for an emerging science, environmental organic geochemistry.
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Contributor : Eric Lichtfouse <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 21, 2007 - 10:53:38 AM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 6, 2020 - 9:05:35 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00173971, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 251114



Eric Lichtfouse. Fossiles moléculaires d'intérêt microbiologique, pétrolier, agronomique et environnemental. Autre. Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine - INPL, 1998. ⟨tel-00173971⟩



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