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Versteegh, Gerard J M; Zonneveld, Karin A F; de Lange, Gert J (2010): Sedimentary lipids and palynomorphs of sediment core ABC26 from the Eastern Mediterranean. PANGAEA,, Supplement to: Versteegh, GJM et al. (2010): Selective aerobic and anaerobic degradation of lipids and palynomorphs in the Eastern Mediterranean since the onset of sapropel S1 deposition. Marine Geology, 278(1-4), 177-192,

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Selective degradation of organic matter in sediments is important for reconstructing past environments and understanding the carbon cycle. Here, we report on compositional changes between and within lipid classes and kerogen types (represented by palynomorph groups) in relation to the organic matter flux to the sea floor and oxidation state of the sediments since the early Holocene for central Eastern Mediterranean site ABC26. This includes the initially oxic but nowadays anoxic presapropelic interval, the still unoxidised lower part of the organic rich S1 sapropel, its postdepositionally oxidised and nowadays organic-poor upper part as well as the overlying postsapropelic sediments which have always been oxic. A general ~ 2.3 times increase in terrestrial and marine input during sapropel formation is estimated on the basis of the total organic carbon (TOC), pollen, spore, dinoflagellate cyst, n-alkane, n-alkanol and n-alkanoic acid concentration changes in the unoxidised part of the sapropel. The long-chain alkenones, 1,15 diols and keto-ols, loliolides and sterols indicate that some plankton groups, notably dinoflagellates, may have increased much more. Apart from the terrestrial and surface water contributions to the sedimentary organic matter, anomalous distributions and preservation of some C23-C27 alkanes, alkanols and alkanoic acids have been observed, which are interpreted as a contribution by organisms living in situ.
Comparison of the unoxidised S1 sapropel with the overlying oxidised sapropel and the organic matter concentration profiles in the oxidised postsapropelic sediments demonstrates strong and highly selective aerobic degradation of lipids and palynomorphs. There seems to be a fundamental difference in degradation kinetics between lipids and pollen which may be possibly related with the absence of sorptive preservation as a protective mechanism for palynomorph degradation. The n-alkanes, Impagidinium, and Nematosphaeropsis are clearly more resistant than TOC. The n-alkanols and n-carboxylic acids are about equally resistant whereas the pollen, all other dinoflagellate cysts and other lipids appear to degrade considerably faster, which questions the practice of normalising to TOC without taking diagenesis into account. Selective degradation also modifies the relative distributions within lipid classes, whereby the longer-chain alkanes, alcohols and fatty acids disappear faster than their shorter-chain equivalents. Accordingly, interpretation of lipid and palynomorph assemblages in terms of pre- or syndepositional environmental change should be done carefully when proper knowledge of the postdepositional preservation history is absent. Two lipid-based preservation proxies are tested the diol-keto-ol oxidation index based on the 1,15C30 diol and keto-ols (DOXI) and the alcohol preservation index (API) whereby the former seems to be the most promising.
Latitude: 33.355000 * Longitude: 24.928333
ABC26 * Latitude: 33.355000 * Longitude: 24.928333 * Elevation: -2150.0 m * Location: Levantine Basin * Campaign: TY_00_1987 * Basis: Tyro * Method/Device: Box corer (BC)
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