A volcanic-ash sample obtained after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington, was analyzed for cyclic terpenoid organic compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons using capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometry-computer techniques. Various tricyclic diterpenoid acids and hydrocarbons were identified including dehydroabietic acid, dehydroabietin, dehydroabietane, simonellite, and retene. Preliminary evidence indicates that these compounds were derived from forest soils or atmospheric aerosols or both in the vicinity of coniferous forests. A diagenetic scheme involving three possible pathways for the conversion of abietic acid to retene is presented. ?? 1983.
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Terpenoid marker compounds derived from biogenic precursors in volcanic ash from Mount St. Helens, Washington