A biomarker study of depositional paleoenvironments and source inputs for the massive formation of Upper Cretaceous lacustrine source rocks in the Songliao Basin, China

Zhiguang Song*, Yin Qin, Simon C. George, Li Wang, Jiangtao Guo, Zihui Feng

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    39 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The abundance and composition of total organic carbon, aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons including biomarkers, and the δ13C composition of total organic matter and individual compounds in core samples of the Nenjiang Formation from the SK-1 borehole of the Songliao Basin provide information on the paleoenvironmental conditions of lacustrine sediments formed during the Upper Cretaceous. The distribution of n-alkanes, and their δ13C composition, and 4-methylsteranes and dinosteranes in the first member of the Nenjiang Formation (K2n1) indicate that the organic matter largely originated from algal organisms and is dominated by types I and II kerogen. The occurrence of gammacerane, aryl isoprenoids isorenieratane and low pristane/phytane and diasterane/sterane ratios further suggest a salinity stratified water column associated with anoxic bottom waters, as well as possible photic zone oxygen depletion conditions during major source rock deposition of the K2n1. The organic geochemical data also indicate significantly different depositional environments for the second member of the Nenjiang Formation (K2n2) sediments, which are interpreted to have been deposited under a uniform salinity (non-stratified) oxic water column. Consequently, although the organic matter in the K2n2 sediments was largely derived from algal and bacterial sources, the kerogen types are dominantly IIb and III due to the oxidative degradation of organic matter, combined with a gradual increase in land-plant input. Furthermore, the occurrence and shift of two saw-toothed distribution patterns of the δ13C composition of C29 to C33 n-alkanes, with "W" and "M" patterns being isotopically heavy odd- and even-numbered alkanes, respectively, is suggestive of organic input shift or an unknown mechanism of carbon uptake or isotopic fractionation. In particular, the heavy even carbon numbered high molecular weight n-alkanes is rare and needs further investigation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)137-151
    Number of pages15
    JournalPalaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology
    Volume385
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2013

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