Autoxidation of the sea ice biomarker proxy IPSO25 in the near-surface oxic layers of Arctic and Antarctic sediments

TitleAutoxidation of the sea ice biomarker proxy IPSO25 in the near-surface oxic layers of Arctic and Antarctic sediments
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsRontani, J-F, Smik, L, Belt, ST
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Pagination63 - 76
Date Published2019/03/01/
ISBN Number0146-6380
KeywordsArctic and Antarctic sediments, Autoxidation, Biotic and abiotic interactions, Degradation, DIP, IP, IPSO

Over the last decade or so, the mono- and di-unsaturated highly branched isoprenoid (HBI) lipids IP25 (Ice Proxy with 25 carbon atoms) and IPSO25 (Ice Proxy for the Southern Ocean with 25 carbon atoms) have emerged as useful proxies for sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, respectively. A more complete understanding of their respective proxy signatures, however, requires more detailed knowledge of their stability in the water column and in sediments. In the current study, we focused on the autoxidation of IPSO25, first by performing laboratory-based oxidation reactions on a purified sample and characterizing products based on detailed mass spectral analysis. We then analysed for the same oxidation products in near-surface sediments retrieved from the Arctic and the Antarctic, and some suspended organic matter from the Antarctic. Our data show that IPSO25 is susceptible to partial autoxidation within the oxic layers of Arctic and Antarctic sediments, while the same processes appear not to be so important in the water column. Although the number of primary autoxidation reactions identified in sediments was not as large as in laboratory experiments, there was evidence for their subsequent modification by biotic degradation. Quantifying the extent of degradation of IPSO25 and IP25 in sediments, and thus the impact of such process on the use of these biomarkers as paleo sea ice proxies, remains challenging at this stage, since most of the primary oxidation products do not accumulate, likely due to secondary biodegradation reactions. Some interesting differences in reactivity were also observed between IPSO25 and IP25 present in the same Arctic sediments. This suggests that factors other than environmental control may influence the IPSO25/IP25 ratio (i.e. DIP25) in Arctic sediments.

Short TitleOrganic Geochemistry