Carbonate, organic carbon and nitrogen, bitumen and rock-eval pyrolysis at DSDP Leg 79 Holes

The lipids and kerogens of 15 sediment samples from Site 547 (ranging from Pleistocene to Early Jurassic/Triassic) and 4 from Site 545 (Cretaceous) have been analyzed. A strong terrestrial contribution of organic matter was found, and significant autochthonous inputs were also present, especially at Site 545. Both strongly reduced and highly oxidized sediments have been found in the Cenozoic and Jurassic samples of Site 547. On the contrary, all the Cretaceous sections of Sites 547 and 545 are anoxic. Sediments from anoxic paleoenvironments are immature and have a high content of sterenes, diasterenes, steradienes, hopenes, and ßß hopanes. Samples from oxic paleoenvironments are mainly mature and their content of hopenes and steriod structures is below the detection level. Nevertheless, their hopane distributions have the immature ßß homologs as the predominant molecular markers. For Site 545 the most abundant molecular markers are ring A monoaromatic steranes, and their presence is attributed to microbial and chemical transformations during early diagenesis.

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