Poly cyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in Recent lake sediments—II. Compounds derived from biogenic precursors during early diagenesis
Five groups of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) thought to be derived by early-diagenetic transformations of biogenic precursors are apparently present in Recent sediments of four lakes (Lake Lucerne. Lake Zürich, and Greifensee. Switzerland, and Lake Washington, northwest U.S.A.) These natural PAH include: (1) perylene.(2) an extended series of phenanthrene homologs. (3) retene and pimanthrene derived from diterpenes. (4) a series of tetra- and pentacyclic PAH derived from pentacyclic triterpenes of the amyrin-type. (5) tetra- and pentacyclic PAH formed from pentacyclic triterpenes with five-membered E-rings. Since these PAH are abundant in very young sediment layers, the transformation reactions involved appear to be faster than previously thought and may be microbially mediated. There is no evidence that anthropogenic or petrogenic sources can account for the distributions of these groups of PAH in cores of Recent lake sediments.