I. R. Kaplan, 1983. "Stable Isotopes of Sulfur, Nitrogen and Deuterium in Recent Marine Environments", Stable Isotopes in Sedimentary Geology, Michael A. Arthur, Thomas F. Anderson, Isaac R. Kaplan, Jan Veizer, Lynton S. Land
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The elements to be discussed below are all biologically important and play a vital role in the metabolism and cellular synthesis by all organisms. The products of biosynthesis are deposited in the sediments and can be recognized in shales after having undergone diagenesis.
Each of these elements has a distinct distribution pattern in the ocean and their isotopes are incorporated into organic matter according to controls that are largely directed by kinetic processes, involving the action of enzymes as transporting agents and cell walls as diffusion boundries. The end products of biological and diagenetic processes results in the formation of kerogen, which concentrates in the shale, or hydrocarbons which may escape and be transported out of the shale. Both early diagenetic and later maturation processes each impose changes in the isotope composition of the original starting organic matter.
The average ratio of in terrestrial water is 22.6. Sulfur is an important element in the marine environment because it undergoes both organic and inorganic reactions which lead to formation of sedimentary materials.
It is now well established that biological systems are capable of selectively metabolizing the stable isotopes of sulfur (Thode 1951; Jones and Starkey, 1957; Harrison and Thode 1958; Kaplan and Rittenberg, 1964) . The process can be divided into assimilatory or dissimilatory, and reductive or oxidative functions. The maximum fractionation for various metabolic processes measured by Kaplan and Rittenberg (1962) can be seen in Table 2-l. The data in this table can be dompared with the pathways
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Stable isotope geochemistry has come into its own in the last few years as our inventory of processes and materials has improved from the result of much basic research. Stable isotope techniques should become a standard application to most studies of sedimentary rocks and depositional environments; it has much application in exploration for hydrocarbons as well as in basic research. Rapid progress depends on adequate and proper education of professionals in the techniques, the correct selection of samples, consideration of problems of interpretation, and concern for other types of data required to constrain interpretation of stable isotopic data. This text is designed to deal with the application of stable isotopes to geologic problems.