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International Journal of Analytical Chemistry
Volume 2016, Article ID 8361375, 8 pages
Research Article

Quantification of Sterol and Triterpenol Biomarkers in Sediments of the Cananéia-Iguape Estuarine-Lagoonal System (Brazil) by UHPLC-MS/MS

1Department of Chemistry, Federal University of Amazonas (UFAM), 69077-000 Manaus, AM, Brazil
2ThoMSon Mass Spectrometry Laboratory, Institute of Chemistry, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), 13083-970 Campinas, SP, Brazil
3DeMpSter Mass Spectrometry Group, Amazonas State University (UEA), 69050-010 Manaus, AM, Brazil
4Marine Organic Chemistry Laboratory, Oceanography Institute, University of São Paulo (USP), 05508-120 São Paulo, SP, Brazil

Received 31 December 2015; Accepted 6 March 2016

Academic Editor: Josep Esteve-Romero

Copyright © 2016 Giovana Anceski Bataglion et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Sterols and triterpenols present in sedimentary cores from 12 stations along the Cananéia-Iguape estuarine-lagoonal system were investigated by ultra-high performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UHPLC-MS/MS). Ten sterols and three triterpenols were identified and quantified, indicating both natural and anthropogenic sources. The relative distributions of sterol and triterpenol showed that the study area is submitted to organic matter (OM) from the Ribeira de Iguape River, seawater, surrounding vegetation, and plankton production. The contribution of these sources depends on the region of the estuarine-lagoonal system and the depth of sediment. Regarding anthropogenic sources, only the samples submitted to freshwater flow from the Ribeira de Iguape River presented concentration of coprostanol higher than the threshold value and diagnostic ratios, coprostanol/(coprostanol + cholestanol) and coprostanol/cholesterol, that indicate moderate contamination by domestic sewage in that area of the estuarine-lagoonal system. Therefore, the approach used herein identified the OM sources and its transport along the Cananéia-Iguape estuarine-lagoonal system (Brazil), which is a complex of lagoonal channels located in a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Biosphere Reserve.