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Chemosphere. 2015 Jan;119:1346-52. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2014.01.085. Epub 2014 Mar 12.

Characterization of n-alkanes and their carbon isotopic composition in sediments from a small catchment of the Dianchi watershed.

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  • 1School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, 1 Wenyuan Road, Qixia, Nanjing 210023, China. Electronic address:
  • 2School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, 1 Wenyuan Road, Qixia, Nanjing 210023, China.
  • 3College of Economics and Management, Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210016, China.


The biomarker composition and stable carbon isotope values of organic matter (OM) in sediment cores from Shuanglong catchment of the Dianchi watershed show an unimodal n-alkane distribution ranging from C15-C33 with a strong predominance of odd-numbered n-alkanes, maximizing at n-C27, n-C29 and n-C31. Organic carbon to nitrogen (OC/N) ratio indicates a strong terrestrial influence on the OM. The values of δ(13)C27, δ(13)C29 and δ(13)C31 of n-alkanes range from -36.1‰ to -26.1‰, -34.1‰ to -30.1‰ and -33.8‰ to -28.7‰, respectively, suggesting a mainly C3 land plants origin. The carbon preference index (CPI25-31), odd-even preference (OEP27-31), average chain length (ACL25-33), pristine/phytane (pr/ph), Paq, (C27+C29)/2C31, nC16-23/nC24-33 and 3C17/(C21+C23+C25) values are also consistent with the predominance of C3 land plant-derived OM. Different sources of OM are reflected by the peak of n-C15, ascribed to a contribution by aquatic algae and photosynthetic bacteria. Eutrophication seems to be enhanced by both autochthonous (weak) and allochthonous (strong) contributions of OM. A major factor affecting the OM accumulation in the catchment and OM transportation to the Dianchi Lake may be increased by human activities from 1871 to 2011.

Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Dianchi watershed; Organic matter; Sediment; n-Alkanes; δ(13)C

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