1 Carbon, the Earth and life.
1.1 Carbon and the basic requirements of life.
1.2 Chemical elements, simple compounds and their origins.
1.3 The origin of life.
1.4 Evolution of life and the atmosphere.
1.5 Major contributors to sedimentary organic matter.
2 Chemical composition of biogenic matter.
2.1 Structure of natural products.
2.3 Amino acids and proteins.
2.5 Lignins, tannins and related compounds.
2.6 Nucleotides and nucleic acids.
2.7 Geochemical implications of compositional variation.
3 Production, preservation and degradation of organic matter.
3.1 How and why organic-rich deposits form.
3.2 Controls on primary production.
3.3 Preservation and degradation of organic matter.
3.4 Depositional environments associated with accumulation of organic matter.
4 Long-term fate of organic matter in the geosphere.
4.2 Humic material.
4.5 Catagenesis and metagenesis.
4.6 Temporal and geographical distribution of fossil organic carbon.
5 Chemical stratigraphy.
5.1 Biologically mediated transformations.
5.2 Examples of source indicators in recent sediments.
5.3 Diagenesis at the molecular level.
5.4 Source and environment indicators in ancient sediments and oil.
5.5 Thermal maturity and molecular transformations.
5.6 Palaeotemperature and age measurement.
5.7 Maturity of ancient sedimentary organic matter.
5.8 Isotopic palaeontology.
6 The carbon cycle and climate.
6.1 Global carbon cycle.
6.2 Changes in carbon reservoirs over geological time.
6.3 Palaeoclimatic variations.
6.4 Isotopic excursions at period boundaries.
6.5 Human influence on the carbon cycle.
7 Anthropogenic carbon and the environment.
7.3 Hydrocarbon pollution in aquatic environments.
7.4 Endocrine disrupting chemicals.
7.5 Environmental behaviour of selected xenobiotic compounds.
7.6 Factors affecting the rate of anthropogenic components.
Appendix 1: SI units used.
Appendix 2: SI unit prefixes.
Appendix 3: Geological timescale.