Ether lipids from the lower and middle triassic at Qingyan, Guizhou Province, Southern China

Ryosuke Saito, Masahiro Oba, Kunio Kaiho, Chikako Maruo, Megumu Fujibayashi, Jing Chen, Zhong Qiang Chen, Jinnan Tong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Ether lipids such as non-isoprenoid mono and dialkyl glycerol ethers (MAGEs and DAGEs) and archaeol have been found in carbonate rocks and mud rocks deposited during the Early and Middle Triassic (250-240. Ma). The oldest previous discovery of ether lipids is from Cretaceous black shale deposited during the Albian (112. Ma). Paleoenvironmental reconstruction using ether lipids has therefore not been conducted on pre-Cretaceous sediments. Archaeol derives from archaea (e.g. methanogenic, methanotrophic, halophilic and thermophilic archaea). The non-isoprenoid DAGEs and MAGEs likely derive from sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), which are restricted to anaerobic environments. The presence of ether lipids thus indicates that anoxic conditions expanded in the depositional and/or water column environment in the Qingyan area during the Early-Middle Triassic. These ether lipids may be useful for the reconstruction of paleoredox conditions and paleoecosystems in the area. Furthermore, their occurrence suggests that paleoenvironmental reconstruction using ether lipids may be possible throughout the Mesozoic and Cenozoic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalOrganic Geochemistry
Publication statusPublished - May 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology


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