Skip to Main Content

On the origin of 24-norcholestanes and their use as age-diagnostic biomarkers

Sebastiaan W. Rampen, Stefan Schouten, Ben Abbas, F. Elda Panoto, Gerard Muyzer, Christine N. Campbell, Johanna Fehling and Jaap S. Sinninghe Damste
On the origin of 24-norcholestanes and their use as age-diagnostic biomarkers
Geology (Boulder) (May 2007) 35 (5): 419-422


24-norcholestanes have been shown to be useful biomarkers to assess the age of sediments and petroleum, but until now, the biological sources of their precursors, i.e., 24-norsterols, were unclear. We have unambiguously identified relatively high concentrations of 24- norcholesta-5,22-dien-3beta -ol in the diatom Thalassiosira aff. antarctica (6%-10% of total sterols) and, in much lower concentrations, in the dinoflagellate Gymnodinium simplex (0.2% of total sterols). These identifications and other reports of 24-norsterols in dinoflagellates suggest that both diatom and dinoflagellate species are major sources for 24-norcholestanes in sediments and petroleum. The evolutionary history of these organisms suggests that observed increases of 24-norcholestane concentration in the Jurassic and the Cretaceous are related to dinoflagellate expansion, whereas an increase in the Oligocene-Miocene is likely caused by diatom expansion. Our results also explain the biogeographical distribution of 24-norcholestanes, i.e., high concentrations at high (paleo)latitudes are likely caused by diatoms, while low concentrations at lower (paleo)latitudes are likely caused by dinoflagellates.

ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 35
Serial Issue: 5
Title: On the origin of 24-norcholestanes and their use as age-diagnostic biomarkers
Affiliation: Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ), Department of Marine Biogeochemistry and Toxicology, Den Burg, Netherlands
Pages: 419-422
Published: 200705
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 35
Accession Number: 2007-045054
Categories: General geochemistryPaleobotany
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Annotation: With GSA Data Repository Item 2007100
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 1 table
S90°00'00" - S61°00'00", W180°00'00" - E180°00'00"
Secondary Affiliation: Scottish Association for Marine Science, GBR, United Kingdom
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 200724
Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal