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The diagenesis of amino acids in sediments from Clear Lake core CL-80-1 is indicated by changes in amino acid concentrations, compositions, and stereochemistry. Concentrations of total amino acids decrease with depth, but the decrease is not systematic, possibly reflecting a nonuniformity in sedimentary and postdepositional processes affecting the amino acids. Ratios of neutral/acidic amino acids may indicate that the pH of interstitial water is slightly alkaline to slightly acidic and that the organic matter is well humified. Ratios of nonprotein/protein amino acids suggest that some changes in amino acids with depth result from microbial degradations. The extent of racemization of alanine increases with depth; the trends of these data may be explained, in part, by rapid sedimentation within the lake. Agreement between extents of alanine racemization for sediments from equivalent depths in two cores from the lake suggests that diagenetic temperatures are uniform within the sediments of the northern basin of Clear Lake.

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