Atmospheric deposition of inorganic and organic nitrogen and base cations in Hawaii

Jacqueline H. Carrillo, Meredith Galanter Hastings, Daniel Mikhail Sigman, Barry J. Huebert

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Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen (N) and base cations was measured for 5-7 years on the island of Hawaii and for 1.5 years on Kauai. On Hawaii, mean annual fluxes of K+, Mg2+, and Ca2+ were 15, 17, and 13 kg ha-1 yr-1, respectively. Fog interception was the largest deposition pathway. Sea salt contributed the majority of cations, although biomass burning and Asian dust were significant sources for some years. Total N deposition (inorganic and organic) averaged 17 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Fog interception was also the largest source of N, depositing 16 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Precipitation deposition was 1.0 and 0.2 kg N ha-1 yr-1, respectively on Hawaii and Kauai. Dry deposition on Hawaii was 0.1 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Organic N averaged 16 and 12% of total N in rain and fog, respectively. The δ15N values for NO3--N are consistent with long-range transport of N from Asia in the spring/summer and from North America in the fall/winter as nonvolcanic sources. Atmospheric deposition on Hawaii may completely account for a previously identified soil N imbalance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)24-1-24-16
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Environmental Science
  • Atmospheric Science


  • Asian dust
  • Fog
  • Isotopic N
  • Long-range transport
  • Nutrient


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