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Testing the D/H Ratio of Alkenones and Palmitic Acid as Salinity Proxies in the Amazon Plume : Volume 12, Issue 16 (26/08/2015)

By Häggi, C.

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Book Id: WPLBN0003972611
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 27
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Testing the D/H Ratio of Alkenones and Palmitic Acid as Salinity Proxies in the Amazon Plume : Volume 12, Issue 16 (26/08/2015)  
Author: Häggi, C.
Volume: Vol. 12, Issue 16
Language: English
Subject: Science, Biogeosciences, Discussions
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Chiessi, C. M., Schefuß, E., & Häggi, C. (2015). Testing the D/H Ratio of Alkenones and Palmitic Acid as Salinity Proxies in the Amazon Plume : Volume 12, Issue 16 (26/08/2015). Retrieved from

Description: MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany. The stable hydrogen isotope composition of lipid biomarkers, such as alkenones, is a promising new tool for the improvement of paleosalinity reconstructions. Laboratory studies confirmed the correlation between lipid biomarker ΔD composition (ΔDLipid), water ΔD composition (ΔDH2O) and salinity. Yet, there is limited insight into the applicability of this proxy in oceanic environments. To fill this gap, we test the use of the ΔD composition of alkenones (ΔDC37) and palmitic acid (ΔDPA) as salinity proxies using samples of surface suspended material along the distinct salinity gradient induced by the Amazon Plume. Our results indicate a positive correlation between salinity and ΔDH2O, while the relationship between ΔDH2O and ΔDLipid is more complex: ΔDPA correlates strongly with ΔDH2O (r2 = 0.81) and shows a salinity dependent isotopic fractionation factor. ΔDC37 only correlates with ΔDH2O in samples with alkenone concentrations > 10 ng L−1 (r2 = 0.51). These findings are mirrored by alkenone based temperature reconstructions, which are inaccurate for samples with alkenone concentrations < 10 ng L−1. Deviations in ΔDC37 and temperature are likely to be caused by limited haptophyte algae growth due to low salinity and light limitation imposed by the Amazon Plume. Our study confirms the applicability of ΔDLipid as a salinity proxy in oceanic environments. But it raises a note of caution concerning regions where low alkenone production can be expected due to very low salinity conditions. To circumvent these limitations, we suggest the complementary use of ΔDC37 and ΔDPA.

Testing the D/H ratio of alkenones and palmitic acid as salinity proxies in the Amazon Plume

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