Schubert Carsten J.

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Carsten J.

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  • Article
    Organic matter in river-influenced continental margin sediments : the land-ocean and climate linkage at the Late Quaternary Congo fan (ODP Site 1075)
    (American Geophysical Union, 2003-12-31) Holtvoeth, Jens ; Wagner, Thomas ; Schubert, Carsten J.
    Late Quaternary sections (1.2 Ma) of ODP-Site 1075 from the Congo deep-sea fan are investigated to reconstruct variations of terrigenous organic matter supply to the eastern equatorial Atlantic. To characterize the organic matter (OM) with regard to marine and terrigenous amounts we used elemental analysis (C, N, S), stable carbon isotopes (bulk δ13Corg), Rock-Eval pyrolysis, and terrigenous biomarkers (lignin phenols from CuO oxidation). The records of total organic carbon (TOC) contents, Corg/Ntot ratios, bulk OM degradation rates (Corg/Corg*), and the ratios of hydrocarbons (HC) from low-mature versus HC from high-mature OM (lm/hm) reveal pronounced cyclic changes in OM abundance, preservation, and reactivity that are closely related to the precessional controlled record of insolation, and thus, to variations in upwelling intensity and fluvial run-off. Primary productivity off the Congo is stimulated by both, enhanced nutrient supply in response to trade-induced upwelling during arid African climates (insolation minima) and fluvial nutrient delivery during humid stages (following insolation maxima), especially due to the contribution of dissolved silica that is taken up preferably by diatoms. However, results stemming from a multiparameter approach reveal that the fluvial supply of degraded OM and black carbon (BC) associated with fine-grained sediments from soil erosion is a decisive factor for the preservation of marine OM and, in addition, significantly influences the geochemical signature of bulk and terrigenous OM. Riverine and eolian supply of C4 plant matter, as well as enhanced concentrations of BC, during arid and arid-to-humid transitional climate stages, may lead to a severe underestimation of terrigenous organic carbon, if its amount is calculated from bulk isotopic ratios using binary end-member models. During the humid stages, it is the massive supply of 13C-enriched soil OM with low Corg/Ntot ratios that may suggest a mainly marine composition of bulk OM. In fact, terrigenous OM governs bulk OM geochemical signatures in the sediments of the Congo deep-sea fan, a result that is contradictory to earlier studies, especially to the conventional interpretation of the bulk δ13Corg signal.
  • Article
    Alkenone distribution in Lake Van sediment over the last 270 ka : influence of temperature and haptophyte species composition
    (Elsevier, 2014-07-29) Randlett, Marie-Eve ; Coolen, Marco J. L. ; Stockhecke, Mona ; Pickarski, Nadine ; Litt, Thomas ; Balkema, Cherel ; Kwiecien, Olga ; Tomonaga, Yama ; Wehrli, Bernhard ; Schubert, Carsten J.
    Fossil long-chain alkenones have been used for several decades to reconstruct past ocean surface water temperatures and gained recent interest as a paleotemperature proxy for continental lake settings. However, factors besides temperature can affect alkenone distributions in haptophyte algae, and alkenone compositions can differ between haptophyte species. Alkenone-biosynthesizing haptophyte algae are genetically much more diverse in lakes than in the marine realm, and species-level variations in alkenone compositions could have implications for alkenone paleothermometry. Here, we performed a paired analysis of alkenone distributions and haptophyte species compositions using ancient DNA in up to 270 ka-old sediments of Lake Van in Turkey to reveal a possible species-effect on fossil alkenone distributions and paleotemperature estimates. The same predominant haptophyte in Lake Van today prevailed also since the last ∼100 ka. However, a calibration of alkenone paleotemperature especially in the oldest analyzed intervals is complicated due to a more complex haptophyte species composition predominated by a haptophyte (LVHap_6), which is phylogenetically different from sequences recovered from currently existing lakes including Lake Van and from haptophyte species existing in culture. The predominance of LVHap_6 coincided with the presence of alkenone MeC38:3 and relatively high MeC37:3/4 (2.4) and MeC38:4/5 ratios (3.0). Uk37 index values in the sediment core over the last 270 ka reflect relative changes in past temperature and are additionally linked to haptophyte species composition. A sustained period of high salinity, as indicated by pore-water salinity measurements, could potentially have triggered the succession of haptophytes as sources of alkenones in Lake Van.