Hydrocarbon geochemistry of sediments offshore from Antarctica

Author(s): Rapp, J. B.; Kvenvolden, K. A.; Golan-Bac, Margaret
Author Affiliation(s): Primary:
U. S. Geol. Surv., Menlo Park, CA, United States
Dep. Sci. and Ind. Res., New Zealand
Volume Title: Antarctic continental margin; geology and geophysics of the western Ross Sea
Volume Author(s): Cooper, Alan K., editor; Davey, Frederick J.
Source: The Antarctic continental margin; geology and geophysics of the western Ross Sea, edited by Alan K. Cooper and Frederick J. Davey. Earth Science Series, Vol.(5B), p.217-224. Publisher: Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources, Houston, TX, United States. ISSN: 1068-6517. ISBN: 0-933687-05-2
Note: In English. 21 refs.; illus. incl. 4 tables, sketch map
Summary: Hydrocarbon gases containing one through four carbon atoms, n alkanes with 13 through 36 carbon atoms, and pristane and phytane have been identified in near-surface sediment recovered in nine gravity cores in the western Ross Sea offshore from Victoria Land. Methane is the most abundant of the hydrocarbon gases found and probably results from biologic processes, as do ethene and propene. The origin of the other hydrocarbon gases may result from biologic or early diagenetic processes. The n alkanes, with their strong odd-carbon-number dominance, probably represent the products of continentally derived higher plants. Because, at present, Antarctica is essentially devoid of higher plants, the source of the plant material may be other continents or, more likely, ancient antarctic plants. The low concentrations of methane and heavy n alkanes and the pristane/phytane ratios greater than 1.0 suggest oxidizing environments of deposition for these sediments. No direct evidence was obtained concerning the possible petroleum potential of the Ross Sea area, but previous Deep-Sea Drilling Project data on hydrocarbon gas concentrations and salinity profiles suggest that gas hydrates are present in the sediments of the Ross Sea. (Auth.)
Year of Publication: 1987
Research Program: DSDP Deep Sea Drilling Project
Key Words: 02 Geochemistry; Aliphatic hydrocarbons; Alkanes; Alkenes; Antarctic Ocean; Antarctica; Butane; Carbon; Cores; DSDP Site 271; DSDP Site 272; DSDP Site 273; Deep Sea Drilling Project; Diagenesis; Ethane; Ethylene; Gases; Genesis; Geochemistry; Hydrates; Hydrocarbons; Isobutane; Leg 28; Methane; Offshore; Organic carbon; Organic compounds; Organic materials; Phytane; Pristane; Propane; Propene; Ross Sea; Sampling; Sediments; Southern Ocean; Victoria Land
Coordinates: S770148 S743006 E1724654 E1641400
Record ID: 1988075279
Copyright Information: GeoRef, Copyright 2019 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from the Antarctic Bibliography, United States