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A review of nitrogen isotopic alteration in marine sediments

Robinson, Rebecca S. and Kienast, Markus and Albuquerque, Ana Luiza and Altabet, Mark and Contreras, Sergio and De Pol-Holz, Ricardo and Dubois, Nathalie and Francois, Roger and Hsu, Ting-Chang and Galbraith, Eric and Ivanochko, Tara and Kao, Shuh-Ji and Jaccard, Samuel and Kiefer, Thorsten and Kienast, Stephanie and Lehmann, Moritz F. and Martinez, Philippe and McCarthy, Matthew and Möbius, Jürgen and Pedersen, Tom and Quan, Tracy M. and Ryabenko, Evgeniya and Schmittner, Andreas and Schneider, Ralph and Schneider-Mor, Aya and Shigemitsu, Masahito and Sinclair, Dan and Somes, Christopher and Studer, Anja and Thunell, Robert and Yang, Jin-Yu. (2012) A review of nitrogen isotopic alteration in marine sediments. Paleoceanography, 27 (4). PA4203.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6056148

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Abstract

Nitrogen isotopes are an important tool for evaluating past biogeochemical cycling from the paleoceanographic record. However, bulk sedimentary nitrogen isotope ratios, which can be determined routinely and at minimal cost, may be altered during burial and early sedimentary diagenesis, particularly outside of continental margin settings. The causes and detailed mechanisms of isotopic alteration are still under investigation. Case studies of the Mediterranean and South China Seas underscore the complexities of investigating isotopic alteration. In an effort to evaluate the evidence for alteration of the sedimentary N isotopic signal and try to quantify the net effect, we have compiled and compared data demonstrating alteration from the published literature. A >100 point comparison of sediment trap and surface sedimentary nitrogen isotope values demonstrates that, at sites located off of the continental margins, an increase in sediment N-15/N-14 occurs during early burial, likely at the seafloor. The extent of isotopic alteration appears to be a function of water depth. Depth-related differences in oxygen exposure time at the seafloor are likely the dominant control on the extent of N isotopic alteration. Moreover, the compiled data suggest that the degree of alteration is likely to be uniform through time at most sites so that bulk sedimentary isotope records likely provide a good means for evaluating relative changes in the global N cycle.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Geowissenschaften > Geochemie Stoffkreisläufe (Lehmann)
UniBasel Contributors:Lehmann, Moritz F and Studer, Anja
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:AGU
ISSN:0883-8305
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:06 Nov 2020 15:41
Deposited On:01 Feb 2013 08:41

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