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The Use Of Hydroxyacids As Geochemical Indicators

J. N. Cardoso, G. Eglinton
Published 1983 · Geology

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Abstract The distributions of hydroxyacids in a variety of Recent and ancient sediments have been determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. A lacustrine sediment (Rostherne Mere, U.K.) and two marine situations (Cariaco Trench, Black Sea) were analyzed as examples of Recent depositional environments. β-hydroxyacids occurred in all of the Recent sediments, consistent with their presumed microbial origin, whereas di- and trihydroxyacids were present in the sediments with a significant higher plant input (Black Sea and Rostherne Mere sediments). The two ancient (Eocene) sediments examined, viz. the Greene River (U.S.) and Messel (Germany) oil-shales, contained only trace amounts of hydroxyacids. These results provide evidence that hydroxyacids are in general not well preserved over geological time.
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