PMID: 11539140Jun 1, 1995

Molecular indicators for palaeoenvironmental change in a Messinian evaporitic sequence (Vena del Gesso, Italy). II: High-resolution variations in abundances and 13C contents of free and sulphur-bound carbon skeletons in a single marl bed

Organic Geochemistry
F KenigJ W de Leeuw


The extractable organic matter of 10 immature samples from a marl bed of one evaporitic cycle of the Vena del Gesso sediments (Gessoso-solfifera Fm., Messinian, Italy) was analyzed quantitatively for free hydrocarbons and organic sulphur compounds. Nickel boride was used as a desulphurizing agent to recover sulphur-bound lipids from the polar and asphaltene fractions. Carbon isotopic compositions (delta vs PDB) of free hydrocarbons and of S-bound hydrocarbons were also measured. Relationships between these carbon skeletons, precursor biolipids, and the organisms producing them could then be examined. Concentrations of S-bound lipids and free hydrocarbons and their delta values were plotted vs depth in the marl bed and the profiles were interpreted in terms of variations in source organisms, 13 C contents of the carbon source, and environmentally induced changes in isotopic fractionation. The overall range of delta values measured was 24.7%, from -11.6% for a component derived from green sulphur bacteria (Chlorobiaceae) to -36.3% for a lipid derived from purple sulphur bacteria (Chromatiaceae). Deconvolution of mixtures of components deriving from multiple sources (green and purple sulphur bacteria, coccolithophorids, microalgae...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Vitreous Carbon
Carbon Isotopes
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