Nitrogen isotopes in the ocean

D. M. Sigman, F. Fripiat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article outlines the isotope systematics of processes in the ocean nitrogen (N) cycle and their impact on the isotopic compositions of the major N forms, with an eye toward how the N isotopes 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 enriched in 15N. The strength of the isotopic signal increases with the amplitude of the isotope discrimination in a given N conversion, and it is also affected by the degree to which that conversion consumes its substrate, with a higher degree of consumption strengthening the signal in the substrate but weakening it in the product.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Ocean Sciences
PublisherElsevier
Pages263-278
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780128130810
ISBN (Print)9780128130827
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

Keywords

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

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  • Cite this

    Sigman, D. M., & Fripiat, F. (2019). Nitrogen isotopes in the ocean. In Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences (pp. 263-278). Elsevier. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-409548-9.11605-7