Large isotopic transfers between water-derived hydrogen and organic hydrogen occurred during hydrous pyrolysis experiments of immature source rocks, in spite of only small changes in organic 13C/12C. Experiments at 330 ??C over 72 h using chips or powder containing kerogen types I and III identify the rock/water ratio as a main factor affecting ????D for water and organic hydrogen. Our data suggest that larger rock permeability and smaller rock grain size increase the H-isotopic transfer between water-derived hydrogen and thermally maturing organic matter. Increasing hydrostatic pressure may have a similar effect, but the evidence remains inconclusive. ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.