Nitrogen Isotopes in the Ocean

Daniel Mikhail Sigman, K. L. Karsh, K. L. Casciotti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

80 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article outlines the isotope systematics of the major processes in the ocean nitrogen (N) cycle, their impact on the isotopic compositions of the major N reservoirs in the ocean, and how the N isotopes in the modern ocean and sedimentary record may record current N fluxes and past changes. The dominant dynamic is of kinetic isotope discrimination, in which the light isotope of N (14N) is preferentially converted from substrate to product, leaving the substrate relatively enriched in 15N. The description of models and of observed N fluxes and pools in the ocean is dominated by two general parameters: (1) the amplitude of the isotope discrimination in a given N conversion, and (2) the degree to which that conversion consumes its substrate. © 2009

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Ocean Sciences
PublisherElsevier Ltd
Pages40-54
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9780123744739
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Keywords

  • Ammonium
  • Assimilation
  • Denitrification
  • Dissolved organic nitrogen
  • Fixed nitrogen
  • Isotope fractionation
  • Nitrate
  • Nitrification
  • Nitrogen budget
  • Nitrogen fixation
  • Nutrient
  • Particulate nitrogen
  • Phytoplankton
  • Sediment
  • Sediment trap

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  • Cite this

    Sigman, D. M., Karsh, K. L., & Casciotti, K. L. (2009). Nitrogen Isotopes in the Ocean. In Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences (pp. 40-54). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-012374473-9.00632-9