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Isotope study on organic nitrogen of Westphalian anthracites from the Western Middle field of Pennsylvania (U.S.A.) and from the Bramsche Massif (Germany)

Abstract : The objective of this study was to examine an aspect of the thermal cycling of organic nitrogen in sediments and metasediments. The cycling of organic nitrogen is important because sedimentary organic matter is a shuttle of nitrogen from the atmosphere to the lower crust and thermal decomposition of organic matter is a critical step in the recycling of nitrogen between the different nitrogen pools. Abundance and isotopic composition of organic nitrogen were determined in the particular case of two low sulfur Westphalian anthracites series from Pennsylvania and Bramsche Massif. They represent good examples of Euramerica coals spanning the whole range of anthracitization in single fields. Gold cell experimental simulation of the denitrogenation process was conducted at moderate pressure to show that both suites make ideal metamorphic profiles without any shift due to change of facies or to hydrothermal disturbance. During anthracitization, organic nitrogen content decreases rapidly while organic nitrogen isotopic composition does not change with rank increase. The preservation of the isotopic signature implies that organic nitrogen isotopes could be used as indicators for the paleoecological and paleodepositional history reconstruction of the basins. The striking contrast between the rapid and sharp decrease of nitrogen organic content and the invariance of its isotopic composition during the whole anthracitization suggests that ammonia is an important product of the denitrogenation process.
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https://hal-bioemco.ccsd.cnrs.fr/bioemco-00156941
Contributor : Jean-Paul Boudou <>
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Magali Ader, Jean-Paul Boudou, Marc Javoy, Bruno Goffé, Eric Daniels. Isotope study on organic nitrogen of Westphalian anthracites from the Western Middle field of Pennsylvania (U.S.A.) and from the Bramsche Massif (Germany). Organic Geochemistry, Elsevier, 1998, 29, pp.315 323. ⟨10.1016/S0146-6380(98)00072-2⟩. ⟨bioemco-00156941⟩

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