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Disaster and Earth Science

Biomarkers as environmental indicators

biomarker
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Depositional environmentTypical biomarkers patternsReference example
marine24-n-propylcholestaneMoldowan et al., 1985
lacustrinebotryococcane and other biomarkers of Botryococcus (fresh to brackish water) elevated concentrations of C30 tetracyclic polyprenoids (fresh to brackish water)Metzger and Largeau, 1999 Holba et al., 2003
hypersalineC21 to C25 regular isoprenoids enriched in 13C relative to biomarkers of phytoplanktonic origin, high gammacerane1Grice et al., 1998b Sinninghe Damste et al., 1995
terrestrial organic matter inputdiverse biomarkers of higher plantsSummons and Brocks, Treatise on Geochemistry
strongly anoxic conditions (water column anoxia?)28,30-dinorhopane, 25,28,30-trisnorhopane, gammacerane1Peters and Moldowan, 1993 Sinninghe Damste et al., 1995
photic zone euxinia2isorenieratane, 2,3,6- and 2,3,4- trimethylarylisoprenoids, chlorobactane, Me, isobutyl maleimideGrice et al., 1996a, Hartgers et al., 1993, Koopmans et al., 1996a, Summons and Powell, 1987
carbonates and evaporiteslow diasterane/sterane ratios1
high 2a-methylhopane concentrations1
high 30-norhopanes1
van Kaam-Peters et al., 1998
Summons et al., 1999
Subroto et al., 1991

1 Typical for, but not necessarily restricted to, this depositional environment

2 This might include environments with an anoxic and sulfidic water column that persists into the photic zone, or microbial mats in very shallow water settings that become anoxic within millimeters below the sediment water interface

>>Biomarker classification

>>>Lipids

>>>>Acetogenic lipids

>>>>Isoprenoids

>>>>Acyclic and cyclic isoprenoids

>>>>Polycyclic isoprenoids

>>>>Hopanoids

>>>>Steroids

>>>>Carotenoids

>>>>Squalene

>>>Kerogen

>>>Diagenesis and catagenesis

>>Biomarker as Source Indicator

>>>Steranes, hopanes etc

>>>Hydrocarbons

>>>Environmental Indicators

>>>Indicators of Euxinia

>>Experimental methods to extract biomarkers

>>>Source rock

>>>Extraction

>>>Fractionation

>>>GCMS


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