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Paleoceanographers use the term biomarker to describe organic molecules found in marine sediments, initially produced by a variety of organisms either on land or in the marine environment [1]. A key characteristic of biomarkers is their ability to survive deposition in the archive in terms of their original structure and steroidal configuration (i.e., spatial distribution of the atoms) [1]. Their usefulness for paleoceanographic reconstructions largely depends on their degradation within the archive [1].

Biomarkers used in paleoceanography includes:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Rosell-Melé, A., & McClymont, E. L. (2007). Biomarkers as Paleoceanographic proxies. Developments in Marine Geology, 1, 441-490. doi:10.1016/S1572-5480(07)01016-0