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Abstract

The Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) drilled four legs on the continental margins of California and Mexico. Organic matter in Quaternary to Neogene sediments from the continental margin off California and Baja California, DSDP Leg 63, was analyzed in terms of sources and preservation. The lipids and kerogen are derived from both terrigenous and marine autochthonous inputs and have experienced normal geothermal maturation.

The organic matter in Quaternary to Pliocene sediments from the Gulf of California, DSDP Legs 64 and 65, is derived primarily from terrigenous sources at the mouth of the Gulf and from mixed marine and terrigenous origins in the central Gulf. The lipids and kerogen have undergone normal maturation at depth, except in the central Gulf of California, where at Site 477 rapid hydrothermal maturation is observed.

Organic matter in Quaternary sediments from the Middle America Trench and Mexican Continental Margin, DSDP Leg 66, contains lipids and kerogen which indicate primarily terrigenous influx with oxic depositional conditions. A synthesis of the data on organic matter in cores from Legs 63 to 66 is presented here to serve as an overview and review.

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