13C NMR spectra of solid humic substances in Holocene sediments have been obtained using cross polarization with magic-angle sample spinning techniques. The results demonstrate that this technique holds great promise for structural characterizations of complex macromolecular substances such as humin and humic acids. Quantifiable distinctions can be made between structural features of aquatic and terrestrial humic substances. The aliphatic carbons of the humic substances are dominant components suggestive of input from lipid-like materials. An interesting resemblance is also noted between terrestrial humic acid and humin spectra. ?? 1980.