05-BMG-GC2 Principles and Methods of Organic Geochemistry

Representative Kai-Uwe Hinrichs

Learning Contents:

Organic Geochemistry is the discipline concerned with organic matter in the geosphere, which regulates the cycling of elements on geological time scales and harbors informative molecular biomarkers. The module will deepen the knowledge in Organic Geochemistry based on contents provided in module "Chemical Principles of Geosciences II". It combines a lecture series and a comprehensive laboratory course incl. a seminar part in order to provide the students with theoretical knowledge on the composition of organic matter, the biomarker concept and trace analysis. The laboratory course is held as a two-week-long block after the lecture period.

Learning Outcomes, Targeted Competencies:

1) Participation in this course will enable students to describe depositional environments on the basis of organic geochemical indicators.
2) During the laboratory course, students will learn how to analyze organic compounds in geological samples and document results.
3) They will acquire a sound knowledge of natural compounds and their changes in geological material across time and space.
4) Ultimately, this course will help students to understand the complex interrelations between Geoscience, Chemistry and Biology.

Prior Knowledge:

Participation in module "Geochemical Processes and Isotope Geochemistry"

Course Type 1: Lecture (L) 2.0 SWS ( 28.0 h)

Course Type 2: Practical Laboratory (LP) 4.0 SWS ( 56.0 h)

Tutorial(s): -


84.0 h presence time
56.0 h self-study
40.0 h exam workload

180 h total workload

Exam Type:

combination exam


exam elements: 2
SL: 0

34 % oral exam
66 % internship report


1) "Introduction to Organic Geochemistry", 2005, Killops and Killops, Blackwell Publishing
2) "Echoes of Life", 2008, Gaines, Eglinton, Rullkötter.