Variability in biomarkers of different saline basins in China

Abstract

42 samples (sediments and crude oils) from 5 different saline/hypersaline basins of China were examined using variety of geochemical techniques. A pronounced even over odd distribution ofn-alkanes is observed for the Ejinur, Jianghan samples. Abundance of isoprenoid alkanes, dominated by phytane (C20 up to 20 per cent in EOM), and C25 and C30 components is another outstanding feature of these studied lacustrine hypersaline settings, indicating important contributuions from archaebacteria. Gammacerane is a major component of some Eocene Jiangham samples and Cretaceous Taian sediments. Absolute concentration of phytane and gammacerane appears to be linearly related to chlorine and residual (reduced) sulfur contents of sediments from Jianghan basin, suggesting sulfur incoporation might have played an important role in the enhacement of these biomarkers in the anoxic hypersaline, alkaline settings. Wide range of organic sulfur compounds in immature samples of Jianghan Basin reflects a significant pathway for sulfur incorporation under hypersaline, extremely anoxic/reducing conditions, although for some structures a direct origin from some sulfur archaebacteria can not be excluded. Brackish salt marsh sediment and oil from Lenghu depression contain abundant lupane, strong OEP inn-alkane series, and predominance of C29 steranes, suggesting a markedly input from vascular higher plants. The marginal marine evaporate sediments from the hypersaline Triassic Yangtze Platform is unique for its predominant, complete series of isoprenoid alkanes up to C36 (abundant) and C40 (trace). These long-chain isoprenoids are probably derived from phytoplanktons in addition to archaebacteria. The marked difference in biomarker distributions from the various suites of samples support that application of these biomarkers to help effectively characterize different saline basins. The molecular variation is, however, not only due to their discrepancy in biological sources, but also the extension of sulfate reduction and the availability of metal ions during early diagenesis.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

References

  1. Albaiges, J. 1980. Identification and geochemical significance of long chain acyclic isoprenoid hydrocarbons in crude oils. In: A.G. Douglas and J.R. Maxwell (Eds.), Advances in Org. Geochem., 1979, pp. 265–274. Pergamon, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Boon, J.J., Frits de Lange, Schuyl, P.J.W., de Leeuw, J.W. and Schenck, P.A. 1978. Organic geochemistry of Walvis Bay Diatomaceous ooze. II. Occurrence and significance of the hydroxy fatty acids. In: J.J. Boon (Eds.) Molecular Biogeochemistry of Four Natural Environments, pp. 117–133. Delft University Press.

  3. Boon, J.J., Hines, H., Burlingame, A.L. 1981. Organic geochemical studies of Solar Lake laminated Cyanobacterial mats. Adv. in Org. Geochem., pp. 207–227. John Wiley & Sons Limited.

  4. Boon, J.J., Liefkens, W., Rijpstra, W.I.C., Baas, M. and de Leeuw, J.W. 1978. Fatty acids of Desulfovibrio Desulfuricans as marker molecules in sedimentary environments. In: J.J. Boon (Eds.) Molecular Biogeochemistry of Four Natural Environments, p. 115. Delft University Press.

  5. Brassell, S.C., Wardroper, A.M.K., Thomson, I.d., Maxwell, J.R. and Eglinton, G. 1981. Specific acyclic isoprenoids as biological markers of methanogenic bacteria in marine sediments. Nature (London) 290: 693–696.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Brassell, S.C., C.A. Lewis, J.W. de Leeuw, F. de Lange, and Sinninghe Damste, J.S. 1986. Isoprenoid thiophenes: novel products of sediment diagenesis? Nature 320: 160–162.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Brassell, S.C., Eglinton, G. and Jhowell, V. 1987. Paleoenvironmental assessment for marine organic-rich sediments using molecular organic geochemistry. In: J. Brooks and A.J. Fleet (Eds.) Marine Petroleum Source Rocks, pp. 79–88. Blackwell, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Brassell, S.C., Sheng Guoying, Fu Jiamo and Eglinton, G. 1988. Biological markers in lacustrine Chinese oil shales. In: A.J. Fleet, K. Kelets and M.R. Talbot (Eds.) Lacustrine Petroleum Source Rocks, pp. 299–308. Geological Society Special Publication No. 40.

  9. Chappe, B. and Albrecht, P. 1982. Polar lipids of Archaebacteria in sediments and petroleums. Science 217: 65–66.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Das, S.K. and Smith, E.D. 1968. Fatty acids in fossil algae of different geological ages. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 147: 411–418.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. de Leeuw, J.W. and Sinnighe Damste, J.S. 1990. Organic sulfur compounds and other biomarkers as indicators of palaeosalinity.

  12. De Rosa, M., Gambacorta, A., Nicolaus, B., Ross, H.N.M., Grant, W.D. and Bulock, J.D. 1982. An asymmetric archaebacterial diether from alkaliphilic halophiles. Journal of General Microbiology 128: 343–348.

    Google Scholar 

  13. De Rosa, M., Gambacorta, A. and Gliozzi, A. 1986. Structure, Biosynthesis, and physicochemical properties of archaebacterial lipids. Microbiological Reviews 50(1): 70–80.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Fu Jiamo, Sheng Guoying, Peng Pingan, Brassell, S.C., Eglinton, G. and Jiang, Jigan 1986. Pecularities of salt lake sediments as potential source rocks in China. In: D. Leythaeuser and J. Rullkoter (Eds.) Advance in Organic Geochemistry 1985. Org. Geochem. 10: 119–126. Pergamon, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  15. Fu Jiamo, Sheng Guoying, Xu Jiayou, Jia Rongfen, Fan Shanfa, Peng Ping'an, Eglinton, G. and Gowar, A.P. 1992. Biomarker compounds as indicators of paleoenvironments. Chinese Journal of Geochemistry 11 (1): 1–12.

    Google Scholar 

  16. Jain, M.K., Zeikus, J.G. and Bhatnagar, L. 1991. Methanogens. In: P.N. Levett (Ed.) Anaerobic Microbiology a practical approach, pp. 223–243. Oxford University Press.

  17. Jiang Jigang 1985. About the source of oil in the Qianjiang Formation. Acta Petrolei Sinica. 6 (2): 23–30 (in Chinese).

    Google Scholar 

  18. Han, J.C-Y. 1970. Chemical studies of terr estrial and extraterrestrial life, PhD. Thesis, University of California, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Holzer, G., Ore, J. and Tornabene, T.G. 1979. Gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis of neutral lipids from methanogenic and themoacidophilic bacteria. J. chromatogr. 186: 795–809.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Holzer, G. 1983. Lipids from methane-producing and sulfur-reducing bacteria and their geochemical significance. In: P. MacCarthy (Ed.) Research in Chemistry and Geochemistry at Colorado School of Mines, pp. 9–13. Colorado School of Mines.

  21. Huang Jianguo and Zhang Jinghua 1990. Sedimentary characteristics of triassic Evaporite in South China. In: Editorial Committee of Professional Papers of Stratigraphy and Palaeontology (Ed.) Professional Papers of Stratigraphy and Palaeontology No. 23. Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences. Geological Publishing House, Beijing.

    Google Scholar 

  22. Huang W.Y. and Meinshein W.G. 1979. Sterols as ecological indicators. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 43: 739–745.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Kohnen M.E.L., Sinninghe Damste J.S., Kock-van Dalen A.C. and De Leeuw J.W. 1991. Di-or polysulfide-cound biomarkers in sulphur-rich geomacromolecules as revealed by seleetive chemolysis. Geochim Cosmochim. Acta 55: 1375–1394.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Langworthy, T.A. 1985. Lipids of Archaebacteria: In: C.R. Woese and R.S. Wolfe (Eds.) Archaebacteria, pp. 459–497. Academic Press.

  25. Langworthy, T.A., Holzer, G., Zeikus, J.G. and Tornabene, T.G. 1983.Iso- andanteiso- branched glycerol diethers of the thermophilic aerobeThermodisulfotobacterium commune system. Applied Microbiology 101 (4): 1–17.

    Google Scholar 

  26. Li Ren Wei, Wu Hanguo, Lin Daxing, Wang Zhizhen, Chen Rijin, Tian Xiangyou, and Zhang Rufan 1992 Biomarker features of the Chinese Mso, Cenozoic saline lake deposits. Advances in Geoscience, pp. 275–295. Inst. of Geology, CAS.

  27. Macfarlane, G.T. and Gibson, G.R. 1991. Sulphate-reducing bacteria. In: P.N. Levett (Ed.) Anaerobic Microbiology — A Practical Approach, pp. 201–222. Oirl Press at Oxford University.

  28. Metzger P. and Casadevall E. 1987. Lycopidene, a tetraterpenoid hydrocarbon from new strains of the green algaBotryococcus braunii. Tetrahedron Lett. 34: 3931–3934.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Metzger P., Casadevall E., Pouet M.J. and Pouet Y. 1985. Structures of some botryococcenes: branched hydrocarbons from the B-race of the green algaaBotryococcus braunii. Phytochemistry 24: 2995–3002.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Metzger, P., Largeau C. and Casadevall E. 1991. Lipids and macromolecular lipids of the hydrocarbon-rich microalgaBotryococcus braunii. Chemical structure and biosynthesis. Geochemical and biotechnological importance. In: W. Herz, G.W. Kirby, W. Steglich and C. Tamm (Eds.) Progress in the Chemistry of Organic Natural Products, pp. 1–70. Springer, Vienna.

    Google Scholar 

  31. Oremland, R.S. 1988. Biogeochemistry of methanogenic bacteria. In: A.J.B. Zehnder (Ed.) Biology of Anaerobic Microorganisms, pp. 641–705. John Wiley & Sons.

  32. Oremland R.S., Cloern J.E., Sofer Z., Smith R.L., Culbertson C.W., Zehr J., Miller L., Cole B., Harvey R., Iversen N., Klug M., DesMarais D.J. and Rau G. 1988. Microbial and biogeochemical processed in Big Soda Lake, Nevada. In: A.J. Fleet, K. Kelets and M.R. Talbot (Eds.) Lacustrine Petroleum Source Rocks, pp. 59–75. Geological Society Special Publication No. 40.

  33. Orr W.L. and White C.M. (Eds.) 1990. Geochemistry of Sulfur in Fossil Fuels. ACS Symposium Series 429. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Peters Kenneth E. and Moldowan J.M. 1993. The Biomarker Guide interpreting molecular fossils in petroleum and ancient sediments. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Philp R.P. and Fan Zhaoan 1987. Geochemical investigation of oils and source rocks from Qianjiang Depression of Jianghan Basin, a terrigenous saline basin, China. Org. Geochem. 11 (6): 549–562.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Rowland S.J. 1990. Production of acyclic isoprenoid hydrocarbons by laboratory maturation of methanogenic bacteria. Org. Geochem. 15 (1): 9–16.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Sheng Guoying and Fu Jiamo 1987. Sulphur-containing compounds in sulphur-rich crude oils from hypersaline lake sediments and their geochemical implications. Geochemistry (China) 6 (2): 114–126.

    Google Scholar 

  38. Sheng Guiying, Fan Shanfa, Liu Dehan, Su Nengxian and Zhou Hongming, 1980. The geochemistry of n-alkanes with an even-odd predominance in the Tertiary Shahejie Formation of northern China. In: A.G. Douglas and J.R. Maxwell (Eds.) Advances in Organic Geochemistry 1979, pp. 115–122. Pergamon Press, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Schouten S., Sinninghe Damste, J.S., Baas, M., Kock-van Dalen A.C., Konhen M.E.L. and de Leeuw, J.W. 1995. Quantitative assessment of mono- and polysulphide-linked carbon skeletons in sulphur-rich macromolecular aggregates present in bitumens and oils. Org. Geochem. 23 (8): 765–775.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Smith, J.D., Eglinton, G. and Morris, R.J. 1983. The lipid chemistry of an interfacial sediment from the Peru Continental Shelf: Fatty acids, alcohol, aliphatic ketones and hydrocarbons. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 47: 2225–2232.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Swain, F.M. 1980. Petroleum in continental facies. In: J.F. Mason (Ed.) Petroleum Geology in China, pp. 1–25. Penn Well Books, Tulsa.

    Google Scholar 

  42. ten Haven, H.L., de leeuw, J.W., Rullkotter, J. and Sinninghe Damste, J.S. 1987. Restricted utility of the pristane/phytane ratio as a palaeoenvironmental indicator. Nature 330: 641–643.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  43. ten Haven, H.L., de leeuw, J.W., Schenk, P.A. 1985. Organic geochemical studies of a Messinian evaporitic basin, northern Apennines (Italy) I: Hydrocarbon biomarkers for a hypersaline environment. Geochmica et Cosmochimica Acta 49: 2188–2191.

    Google Scholar 

  44. ten Haven, H.L., de leeuw, J.W., Sinninghe Damste, J.S., Schenk, P.A., Palmer, S.E. and Zumberge, J.E. 1988. Application of biological markers in the recognition of paleohypersaline environments. In: A.J. Fleet, K. Kelets and M.R. Talbot (Eds.) Lacustrine Petroleum Source Rocks, pp. 123–130. Geological Society Special Publication No. 40.

  45. Tornabene, T.G., Langworthy, T.A., Holzer, G. and Oro, J. 1979. Squalenes, phytanes and other isoprenoids as major neutral lipids of methanogenic and thermoacidophilic “archaebateria”. J. Mol. Evol. 13: 73–83.

    PubMed  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Toste, A.P. 1976. Ph.D. Thesis, University of California, Berkely.

  47. Vairavamurthy, M.A., Wang, S., Khandelwal B., Manowitz B., Ferdelman T. and Fossing H. 1995. Sulfur transformations in early diagenetic sediments from the Bay of Concepcion, Off Chile. In: M.A. Vairavamurthy and M.A.A. Schoonen (Eds.) Geochemical Transformations of Sedimentary Sulfur, ACS Symposium Series 612, American Chemical Society, Washington DC.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Volkman, J.K. 1988. Biological marker compounds as indicators of the depositional environments of petroleum source rocks. In: A.J. Fleet, K. Kelets and M.R. Talbot (Eds.) Lacustrine Petroleum Source Rocks, pp. 103–122. Geological Society Special Publication No. 40.

  49. Wang Ruiliang 1996. Molecular and Isotopic Signals of Envieonmental/climate Change in Modern and Ancient Hypersaline Sedimentary Records. Ph.D. Thesis, Indiana University, Bloomington.

    Google Scholar 

  50. Wang Ruiliang, Fu Jiamo, Sheng Guoying and Jiang Shangchun 1990. Microbe-inputcarboxic biomarkers in saline/hypersaline sediments from saline basins of China. Science in China (series B) 33 (2): 223–234. Science Press, Beijing.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Wang Ruiliang, Fu Jiamo and Sheng Guoying 1988. Quantitative composition and distributioin of biological markers in sediments of saline basins. In: Annual Research Reports of the Orggnic Geochemistry Laboratory, 1987. Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, pp. 109–119, Science Press, Beijing (in Chinese).

    Google Scholar 

  52. Wang Ruiliang and Zhang Dajiang 1995. Geochemical characteristics of hydrocarbon source rocks of Armu Raya Basin, Turkmenia. In: China-Russia-Turkmenia Joint Research Group (Eds.) Advances in Natural Gas Research of China, Russia and Turkmenia, pp. 164–182. Petroleum Industry Publishing House, Beijing.

    Google Scholar 

  53. Wang Tieguan, Fan Pu and F.M. Swain 1988. Geochemical characteristics of crude oils and source beds in different continental facies of four oil-bearing basins, China. In: A.J. Fleet, K. Kelets and M.R. Talbot (Eds.) Lacustrine Petroleum Source Rocks, pp. 309–325. Geological Society Special Publication No. 40.

  54. Wang Zhizhen, Li Renwei and LinDaxing 1988. Isoprenoid hydrocarbons and the relation between them and sedimentary environment. Oil & Gas Geology 9 (2): 140–145 (in Chinese).

    Google Scholar 

  55. Zheng Shangyu 1992. Salt Lakes in Inner Mongolia, Beijing Scientific Publishing House, Beijing 295p.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wang, R., Fu, J. Variability in biomarkers of different saline basins in China. International Journal of Salt Lake Research 6, 25–53 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02441867

Download citation

Key words

  • biomarker
  • palaeoenvironment
  • salinity
  • salt lake
  • sulfur