Culture studies of denitrifying bacteria predict that denitrification will generate equivalent gradients in the δ15N and δ18O of deep ocean nitrate. A depth profile of nitrate isotopes from the Hawaii Ocean Time-series Station ALOHA shows less of an increase in δ18O than in δ15N as one ascends from abyssal waters into the denitrification-impacted mid-depth waters. A box model of the ocean nitrate N and O isotopes indicates that this is the effect of the low latitude nitrate assimilation/regeneration cycle: organic N sinking out of the surface spreads the high-δ15 N signal of pelagic denitrification into waters well below and beyond the suboxic zone, whereas the nitrate δ18O signal of denitrification can only be transmitted by circulation in the interior.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Geophysical Research Letters|
|State||Published - Apr 28 2009|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)