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Organic chemical characterization of sediment-trap particulates from San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and San Pedro basins, California


Organic chemical characterization of sediment-trap particulates from San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and San Pedro basins, California



Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 43(11): 1791-1801



ISSN/ISBN: 0016-7037

DOI: 10.1016/0016-7037(79)90027-9

Particulate matter was collected during September–October, 1977, in particle traps suspended 30–60 m above the floor of San Nicolas, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and San Pedro Basins, off the coast of southern California. The trap particulates were analyzed for C15–C35 hydrocarbons using gas chromatography (GC) and GC-mass spectrometry. Kerogens and humic acids were characterized by H/C, N/C, 13C, 15N and 34S ratios, and by electron-spin resonance. Hydrocarbons arising from fresh and weathered petroleum, marine autochthonous and terrestrial sources were identified. The rates of petroleum deposition during the collection period followed the order: San Nicolas Basin < Santa Barbara Basin ~ Santa Monica Basin < San Pedro Basin, with the largest amount of weathered petroleum being deposited in San Pedro Basin. The rates of petroleum deposition are correlated more strongly with human activities such as shipping, and the discharge of municipal and industrial wastes, than with natural submarine oil seepage. Analyses of kerogens and humic acids indicate that the majority of the organic matter in the trap particulates is of marine origin. The water column overlying Santa Barbara Basin appears to have the highest marine productivity of the four basins studied.

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Accession: 019622033

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