Organic Geochemistry and Microfossils of the Upper Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous Strata in the Lower Reaches of the Olenek River (Northeastern Framing of the Siberian Platform, Arctic Siberia)

V. A. Kashirtsev, B. L. Nikitenko, E. B. Peshchevitskaya, E. A. Fursenko, N. P. Shevchenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The organic-geochemistry data reveal two levels in the reference Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous section of the lower reaches of the Olenek River: lower (Volgian–lower Boreal Berriasian (diasterene)) and upper (Boreal Berriasian–Valanginian (hopane)). The Volgian beds are composed of clays with abundant prasinophytes Leiosphaeridia and Tasmanites and various dinocyst assemblages and have the highest content of organic carbon (Corg), up to 9%. Isoprenoids, in particular, pristane and phytane, are highly predominant among aliphatic hydrocarbons; their content is more than three times higher than that of coeluting n-alkanes, which is typical of buried chlorophyll-containing plankton (dinocysts and prasinophytes). Sedimentological, biofacies, and paleoecological analyses show that the highly carbonaceous beds of the Buolkalakh Formation formed under oxygen deficit conditions. An integrated analysis demonstrated that the pristane/phytane ratio does not always reliably reflect the reducing or oxidizing conditions of organic-matter accumulation and diagenesis. The discrepancy between the geochemical identification of organic matter according to the pristane/phytane ratio and the biofacies and sedimentological data is due to the low catagenetic maturity of OM. The Volgian was marked by a significant transgression of the Anabar–Lena sea, which was gradually changed by a successive regression of its basin at the end of this stage and in the Boreal Berriasian. The Corg contents in the coastal and subcontinental sediments decreased. Diasterenes and 4-methyldiasterenes disappeared from the balance of biomarker molecules, and the portion of hopanoids increased. Aerobic environments prevailed in the subbottom waters. Earlier, three biomarker horizons were identified according to geochemical criteria in the synchronous sections of Anabar Bay (Laptev Sea coast): terpane, diasterene, and hopane ones. In the section of the Olenek basin, the upper two horizons are well identified by specific biomarkers, and the lower one is absent because of the sedimentation break. Stratigraphic analysis of the location of these geochemical levels in different parts (and bathymetric zones) of the Anabar–Lena basin shows their diachronous formation. According to all geological and geochemical criteria, the Volgian Stage and the lower beds of the Boreal Berriasian Stage of this basin have a high petroleum potential. In the axial zone of the basin and, especially, on the Laptev Sea shelf, there were probably favorable conditions for the generation and accumulation of hydrocarbons genetically related to the Upper Jurassic highly carbonaceous rocks.

Translated title of the contributionОрганическая геохимия и микрофоссилии верхней юры и Нижнего мела низовьев Р. Оленек (Северо-восточное обрамление сибирской платформы, арктическая Сибирь)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1412-1428
Number of pages17
JournalRussian Geology and Geophysics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Jurassic and Cretaceous
  • organic geochemistry
  • biomarkers
  • microfauna
  • terrestrial and marine palynomorphs
  • Arctic Siberia
  • Lena-Anabar basin
  • OIL
  • Lena–Anabar basin




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