Development of Source Specific Diatom Lipids Biomarkers as Antarctic Sea Ice Proxies

Lukas Smik1, Simon T. Belt1, Thomas A. Brown1, Jan L. Lieser2, Leanne K. Armand3, Amy Leventer4 and Claire S. Allen5


School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Plymouth University, U.K.
2 Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre, University of Tasmania, Australia
3 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Macquarie University, Australia
4 Department of Geology, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY, U.S.A.
5 BAS, Cambridge, U.K.

Presented at: EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria, 17-22 April 2016.

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The presence and variable abundance of certain di- and tri-unsaturated C25 highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) biomarkers in Antarctic marine sediments has recently been proposed as a useful proxy indicator of paleo sea-ice extent in the Southern Ocean (e.g. Barbara et al., 2010; Massé et al., 2011; Etourneau et al., 2013). However, development of HBIs as proxies for Antarctic sea ice is much less advanced than for the Arctic (see Belt and Müller, 2013) and has relied almost entirely on their analysis in a small number of sediments, rather than within their source environments.

In this study, two specific HBIs (diene II and triene III) as proxies for Antarctic sea ice were investigated in near-surface (ca. 0 – 10 m) water samples, collected from locations in East Antarctica (Fig 1).

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