Organic materials in lacustrine sediments are from multiple terrestrial and aquatic sources. In this study, carbon (δ13C) and hydrogen isotopic compositions (δD) of phytol, various sterols, and major n-fatty acids in sediments at Lake Haruna, Japan, were determined in their solvent-extractable (free) and saponification-released forms (bound). The δ13 C-δD distributions of these lipid molecules in sediments are compared with those of terrestrial C3 and C4 plants, aquatic C3 plants, and plankton to evaluate their relative contributions. δ 13C-δD of free phytol in sediments is very close to that of phytol in plankton samples, whereas δ13 C-δD of bound phytol in sediments is on a mixing line between terrestrial C3 plant and plankton material. Unlike phytol, no significant δ13C-δD difference between free and bound forms was found in sterols and n-fatty acids. δ13 C-δD values of algal sterols such as 24-methylcholesta-5,22-dien-3β-ol in sediments are close to those of plankton, whereas δ13C-δD of multiple-source sterols such as 24-ethylcholest-5-en-3β-ol and of major n-fatty acids such as n-hexadecanoic acid in sediments are between those of terrestrial C3 plants and plankton samples. Thus, δ13 C-δD distributions clearly indicate the specific source contributions of biomarkers preserved in a lacustrine environment. Free phytol and algal sterols can be attributed to phytoplankton, and bound phytol, multiple source sterols, and major n-fatty acids are contributed by both terrestrial C3 plants and phytoplankton.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geochemistry and Petrology