Nitrogen and oxygen isotope fractionation during denitrification in a lacustrine redox-transition zone

Lehmann, M. F. and Bernasconi, S. M. and Reichert, P. and Barbieri, A. and McKenzie, J. A.. (2003) Nitrogen and oxygen isotope fractionation during denitrification in a lacustrine redox-transition zone. Geochimica et cosmochimica acta, 67, Nr. 14. pp. 2529-2542.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5249295

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The stable isotope composition (15N and 18O) of nitrate was measured during Summer 1999 in the anaerobic hypolimnion of eutrophic Lake Lugano (Switzerland). Denitrification was demonstrated by a progressive nitrate depletion coupled to increasing 15N and 18O values for residual nitrate. Maximum 15N and 18O values amounted to 27.2‰ and 15.7‰, respectively. 15N and 18O enrichment factors for denitrification () were estimated using a closed-system model and a dynamic diffusion-reaction model. Using the Rayleigh equation (closed-system approach), we obtained values of 11.2‰ and 6.6‰ for nitrogen and oxygen, respectively. The average values derived using the diffusion-reaction model were determined to be 20.7±3.8 for nitrogen and 11.0±1.7 for oxygen. Both N and O isotope fractionation appeared to be lower when denitrification rates where high, possibly in association with high organic carbon availability. In addition, variations in the isotope effects may be attributed the variable importance of sedimentary denitrification having only a small isotope effect on the water column. The combined measurement of N and O isotope ratios in nitrate revealed that coupled nitrification-denitrification in the open-water was of minor importance.This is the first study of nitrogen and oxygen isotope effects associated with microbial denitrification in a natural lake. Moreover, this study confirms the high potential of 18O of nitrate as a valuable biogeochemical tracer in aquatic systems, complementing nitrate 15N.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Aquatic and Isotope Biogeochemistry (Lehmann)
UniBasel Contributors:Lehmann, Moritz F
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Elsevier Science
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:28
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:04

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