Project groups


Project leader:
Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Püttmann

Within the BiK-F project A3.4 "Biomarkers and reconstruction of paleoclimatic conditions" sediment samples of the cores Tenaghi Philippon (up to middle Pleistocene, Greece) and Dethlingen (Holsteinian, Pleistocene, Germany) are analyzed regarding the occurrence of plant specific biomarkers. The occurrence of tricyclic diterpenoids (biomarkers for conifers) and pentacyclic triterpenoids (biomarkers for angiosperms) as well as their δ13C-values are supposed to give information about climatic transitions (stable isotopic carbon composition of the atmosphere) and changes in forest composition during the investigated Pleistocene period. Received data are then correlated as organic multi-proxy analyses to data (e. g., pollen records) that are already available for the Tenaghi and Dethlingen sites. Identification of the biomarkers in extracts from the sediment samples is accomplished by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) after soxhlet-extraction. Determination of the stable carbon isotopic ratio in the plant specific biomarkers is carried out using gas chromatography-combustion-isotopic ratio-mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS).


Alsenz, H., Regnery, J., Ashckenazi-Polivoda, S., Meilijson, A., Ron-Yankovich, L., Abramovich, S., Illner, P., Almogi-Labin, A., Feinstein, S., Berner, Z. & W. Püttmann (2013) : Sea surface temperature record of a Late Cretaceous tropical Southern Tethys upwelling system. - Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 392: 350–358.

Regnery, J., Püttmann, W., Koutsodendris, A., Mulch, A. & J. Pross (2013) : Comparison of the paleoclimatic significance of higher land plant biomarker concentrations and pollen data: A case study of lake sediments from the Holsteinian interglacial. - Organic Geochemistry 61: 73-84.

Richoz, S., van de Schootbrugge, B., Pross, J., Püttmann, W., Heunisch, C., Fiebig, J., Schouten, S. & P.B. Wignall (2012) : Hydrogen sulphide poisoning of shallow seas following the end-Triassic extinction. - Nature Geoscience 5: 662-667.

Widodo, S., Bechtel, A., Anggayana, K. & W. Püttmann : Reconstruction of floral changes during deposition of the Miocene Embalut coal from Kutai Basin, Mahakam Delta, East Kalimantan, Indonesia by use of aromatic hydrocarbon composition and stable carbon isotope ratios of organic matter. - Organic Geochemistry 40: 206–218. 
Download publication, PDF 1 MB