Re: Lacustrine sourcerock interpretation from Geochemistry
Mark. I would be weary of reports that link gammacerane to a lacustrine source. Here's why:
Gammacerane, a pentacyclic triterpanes, is a facies-controlled triterpane. It is most likely released from biosynthesized tetrahymanol in bacterivorous ciliates which produce more tetrahymanol when they live at aerobic-anaerobic interfaces. They are not very mobile and high gammacerane levels therefore can be considered as an indicator for water column stratification (Sinninghe Damsté et al., 1995). Water column stratification can however occur in several different settings. In lacustrine environments the absence of seasonal turnover may cause stratification, while in a marine setting hypersaline conditions may cause stratification. It is thus usually used to point towards one of these depositional environments, in conjunction with other parameters.
However, gammacerane is more resistant to biodegradation than the hopanes (between which the gammacerane index used for interpretation is defined: gammacerane/C30-αβ-hopane) and caution should be taken when using gammacerane to interpret source rock depositional environments when severe biodegradation occurs (Ollivier & Magot, 2005).
However, your low sulphur content may be backing up the gammacerane->lacustrine story as biodegradation usually enriches sulfur due to preferential removal of saturated hydrocarbons (Peters et al., 2005).
You should thus try to identify if your oil is severely biodegraded or is still pretty fresh... What's the depth and temperature it is extracted from? and it's API??