Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 92, Issue 5, pp 221–225 | Cite as

Distributions of C22–C30 even-carbon-number n-alkanes in Ocean Anoxic Event 1 samples from the Basque-Cantabrian Basin

  • R. Chaler
  • C. Dorronsoro
  • J. O. Grimalt
  • L. M. Agirrezabala
  • P. A. Fernández-Mendiola
  • J. García-Mondejar
  • I. Gómez-Pérez
  • M. López-Horgue
Short Communication

Abstract

The Ocean Anoxic Event 1 (OAE-1) in central sites of the Basque-Cantabrian Basin exhibits very reducing depositional conditions of sedimentation. These sedimentation events have left a distinct mixture of hydrocarbons that are represented by C22–C30 n-alkanes with a predominance of the even-carbon-number homologues, high relative proportions of squalane and C16–C24 n-alkylcyclopentanes predominated by n-undecyl-, n-tridecyl- and n-pentadecylcyclopentane. Other minor compounds encompass a series of C18–C21 n-alkylcyclohexanes and C18–C24 dimethyl n-alkylcyclohexanes maximized by the even-carbon-number homologues as well as iso- and anteiso-alkanes. This unusual distribution of n-alkanes in this environment provides a new case for comparison with previously reported hypersaline and phosphorite sedimentary deposits where the occurrence of similar n-alkane distributions was reported. In the present case, these major n-alkanes and squalane are indicative of transformation under strong reducing conditions. In contrast, the occurrence of the alkylcyclopentanes, irrespective of the presence of even-carbon-number n-alkanes or squalane, suggests that reductive cyclization of fatty acids is less dependent on strong reducing conditions.

References

  1. Brassell SC, Wardroper AMK, Thomson ID, Maxwell JR, Eglinton G (1981) Specific acyclic isoprenoids as biological markers of methanogenic bacteria in marine sediments. Nature 290:693–696Google Scholar
  2. Debyser Y, Pelet R, Dastillung M (1977) Géochimie organique des sédiments marins récents: Mer Noire, Baltique, Atlantique (Mauritanie). In: Campos R, Goñi J (eds) Advances in organic geochemistry 1975. Enadimsa, Madrid, pp 289–320Google Scholar
  3. Dong J-Z, Vorkink WP, Milton LL (1993) Origin of long-chain alkylcyclohexanes and alkylbenzenes in a coal-bed wax. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 57:837–849Google Scholar
  4. Einsele G (1992) Sedimentary basins. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New YorkGoogle Scholar
  5. García-Mondéjar J, Agirrezabala LM, Aramburu A, Fernandez-Mendiola PA, Gomez-Perez I, Lopez-Horgue M, Rosales I (1996) The Aptian-Albian tectonic pattern of the Basque-Cantabrian Basin (northern Spain). Geol J 31:13–45Google Scholar
  6. Grimalt J, Albaigés J (1987) Sources and occurrence of C12–C22 n-alkane distribution with even carbon-number preference in sedimentary environment. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 51:1379–1384CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Grimalt J, Albaigés J, Al-Saad HT, Douabul AAZ (1985) n-Alkane distributions in surface sediments from the Arabian Gulf. Naturwissenschaften 72:35–37Google Scholar
  8. Grimalt JO, Albaigés J, Alexander G, Hazai I (1986) Predominance of even carbon numbered n-alkanes in coal seam of Nograd Basin. Naturwissenschaften 73:729–731Google Scholar
  9. Holzer G, Oro J, Tornabene TG (1979) Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis of neutral lipids from methanogenic and thermoacidophilic bacteria. J Chromatogr 186:795–800Google Scholar
  10. Jenkyns HC (1980) Cretaceous anoxic events: from continents to oceans. J Geol Soc Lond 137:171–188Google Scholar
  11. Kennicutt MC II, Brooks JM (1990) Unusual normal alkane distributions in offshore New Zealand sediments. Org Geochem 15:193–197Google Scholar
  12. Kvenvolden K (1970) Evidence for transformation of normal fatty acids in sediments. In: Hobson GD, Spears GC (eds) Advances in organic geochemistry 1966. Pergamon, Oxford, pp 335–366Google Scholar
  13. Nishimura M, Baker EW (1986) Possible origin of n-alkanes with a remarkable even-to-odd predominance in recent marine sediments. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 50:299–305Google Scholar
  14. Ogihara S, Ishiwatari R (1998) Unusual distribution of hydrocarbons in a hydrothermally altered phosphorite nodule from Kusu Basin, northern Kyushu, Japan. Org Geochem 29:155–161Google Scholar
  15. Rubinstein I, Strausz OP (1979) Geochemistry of the thiourea adduct fraction from an Alberta petroleum. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 43:1387–1392Google Scholar
  16. ten Haven HL, de Leeuw JW, Sinninghe Damste JS, Schenck PA, Palmer SE, Zumberge JE (1988) Application of biological markers in the recognition of palaeohypersaline environments. In: Fleets AJ, Kelts K, Talbot MR (eds) Lacustrine petroleum source rocks. Geological Society special publication no. 40. Geological Society, pp 123–130Google Scholar
  17. Tissot B, Pelet R, Roucache J, Combaz A (1977) Alkanes as geochemical fossil indicators of geological environments. In: Campos R, Goñi J (eds) Advances in organic geochemistry 1975. Enadimsa, Madrid, pp 117–154Google Scholar
  18. Volkman JK, Johns RB, Gillan FT, Perry GJ, Bavor HJ (1980) Microbial liquids of an intertidal sediment – I. Fatty acids and hydrocarbons. Geochim Cosmochim Acta 44:1133–1143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Welte DH, Waples DW (1973) Uber die Bevorzugung geradzahlinger n-alkane in sedimentgesteinen. Naturwissenschaften 60:516–517Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Chaler
    • 1
  • C. Dorronsoro
    • 2
  • J. O. Grimalt
    • 1
  • L. M. Agirrezabala
    • 3
  • P. A. Fernández-Mendiola
    • 3
  • J. García-Mondejar
    • 3
  • I. Gómez-Pérez
    • 4
  • M. López-Horgue
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.Institute of Chemical and Environmental Research (CSIC)BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of GeologyCollege of Chemistry, University of the Basque CountryDonostia-San SebastianSpain
  3. 3.Department of Stratigraphy and PaleontologyCollege of Sciences, University of the Basque CountryBilbaoSpain
  4. 4.CASP, Earth Sciences DepartmentUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  5. 5.Department of Mines EngineeringUniversity of the Basque Country, School of Mines and Public Works Engineering, Colina de BeurkoBarakaldoSpain

Personalised recommendations