Theoretical Article
Definition of biopetrology

Ya-Sheng Wu*


1Key Laboratory of Cenozoic Geology and Environment, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China.

2Innovation Academy for Earth Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China.

3University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China.

*Corresponding author:


Biopetrology is a new interdisciplinary science dealing with the features, formation, environment, and economic significance of bioliths, i.e., the biogenic rocks. Currently it includes the five different but related research fields: biomineralization, modern reefs, ancient reefs, modern microbial rocks, and ancient microbial rocks. Research of biomineralization and modern bioliths provides the base for the study of ancient bioliths. Because present-day biosphere and environments are different from the ancient, the research results of modern bioliths and biomineralization cannot be directly applied to the ancient. The research results of the ancient bioliths can provide ideas for designing the research of modern bioliths and biomineralization. The related disciplines include biology, microbiology, paleontology, paleomicrobiology, sedimentology, sedimentary petrology, mineralogy, and geochemistry. Biopetrological research needs the knowledge of these disciplines. 

Key words: Biopetrological, biolith, microbial rocks, biomineralization, reef, biogenic rocks.