Hydrocarbon biomarkers of Neoproterozoic to Lower Cambrian oils from eastern Siberia

Amy E. Kelly, Gordon D. Love, John E. Zumberge, Roger E. Summons*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    78 Citations (Scopus)


    The Neoproterozoic Era is of widespread geobiological interest because it marks the critical transition from a world of microbes to one where animals become an established feature of the landscape. Much research into this time period has focused on the ventilation of the oceans, as this is widely considered a primary factor driving the diversification of complex, multicellular life. In this study, Proterozoic to Cambrian aged oils from eastern Siberia were analyzed for their hydrocarbon biomarker contents and compound specific carbon isotopes in order to further our understanding of the prevailing environment and its microbial and metazoan communities. Geochemically, these oils are broadly comparable to those of the Ediacaran-Cambrian sedimentary rocks and oils of the South Oman Salt Basin. Organic matter in the source sedimentary rocks included significant contributions from green algae, demosponges and bacteria including cyanobacteria and methanotrophic proteobacteria. Although the ages of the Siberian oils and putative parent source rock intervals are poorly constrained, the geochemical similarities between the Ediacaran Oman Huqf and Nepa-Botuoba-Katanga family of Siberian oil samples are impressive, leading to the inference that their source rocks are coeval. On the other hand, oils from the Baykit High are distinctive, likely older and possibly of Cryogenian age.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)640-654
    Number of pages15
    JournalOrganic Geochemistry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


    Dive into the research topics of 'Hydrocarbon biomarkers of Neoproterozoic to Lower Cambrian oils from eastern Siberia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this