3 years ago

The source and paleoclimatic implication of hydrogen isotopic composition of n-alkanes in sediments from the Yixian Formation, western Liaoning Province, NE China

The source and paleoclimatic implication of hydrogen isotopic composition of n-alkanes in sediments from the Yixian Formation, western Liaoning Province, NE China
Hydrogen isotopic composition of n-alkanes was measured in sediments from an excavated profile of the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation in Liaoning Province, NE China, aiming to assess the significance of the δD value of n-alkanes in ancient lacustrine sediments as the indicator for determining the source inputs of organic matters and paleoclimatic conditions. The δD values of n-alkanes are in the range of −250‰ to −85‰ and display an obvious three-stage variation pattern through the profile, which is consistent with the distribution of the dominated n-alkanes and the profile of their δ13C values. The δD and δ13C values of n-alkanes suggest that short-chain n-alkanes are primarily derived from photosynthetic bacteria and algae; n-C29 and n-C31 are mainly originated from terrestrial higher plants; n-C28 and n-C30 may be derived from the same precursor but via the different biological mechanism of hydrogen isotopic fractionation; while the source inputs of medium-chain n-alkanes are more complicated, with n-C23 being derived from some specific algae or biosynthesized by various aquatic organisms. The paleoclimatic conditions are reconstructed via two approaches. The reconstructed hydrogen isotopic values of lake water and meteoric water (expressed as δDLW and δDMW, respectively) were at the intervals of −51.8‰ to 17.0‰ and −118.1‰ to −43.5‰, respectively, indicating a general climate transition from semi-arid to arid. The calculated ΔδDLW-MW values vary from 37.0‰ to 89.1‰ and display a similar but a significant large-scale variation trend with the ΔδDC23 long (−28.8‰ to 85.0‰; long represents long-chain n-alkanes) and ΔδDmid-long (−15.4‰ to 43.4‰; mid represents medium-chain n-alkanes) values. The discrepancy may be attributed to the source input overlap for n-alkanes and the uncertainties of εwater/lipid values. The coupling of ΔδDC23 long, ΔδDmid-long and ΔδDLW-MW values with the paleoclimatic evidence indicates that the δD values of n-alkanes could be more sensitive to the change of paleoclimatic conditions.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1342937X17301053

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