A Spatial Assessment of a Di-unsaturated Highly Branched Isoprenoid (HBI) Alkene as an Antarctic Sea Ice Proxy

Lukas Smik1, Simon Belt1, Thomas Brown1 and Claire Allen2


Biogeochemistry Research Centre, Plymouth University, Plymouth, U.K.


British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, U.K.

Presented at: 3rd workshop of the PAGES Sea ice Proxy (SIP) Working Group - Sea Ice Proxy Synthesis and Data-Model Comparison, Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI), Bremerhaven, Germany, 23-25 June 2014.

Download: Poster as an A4 pdf file.


The presence of a di-unsaturated highly branched isoprenoid (HBI alkene) in Antarctic samples has recently been proposed as a useful proxy indicator of Antarctic sea ice (Massé et al., 2011). This isotopicaly enriched HBI diene (d13C of -5.7 to -8.5 ‰ consistent with sea ice origin), has been showed to be present in sea ice and sediment samples while it is absent in Antarctic phytoplankton. In this study, a spatial assessment of this di-unsaturated HBI alkene has been carried out through analysis of surface sediments obtained from several locations around Western Antarctica and the Antarctic Peninsula to initiate an evaluation of the variability and relationship between this novel biomarker and sea ice presence in the region.

Download the complete poster as an A4 pdf file.

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