Gaye-Haake, B., Lahajnar, N., Emeis, K.-Ch., Unger, D., Rixen, Tim, Suthhof, A., Ramaswamy, V., Schulz, H., Paropkari, A.L., Guptha, M.V.S. and Ittekkot, V. (2005) Stable nitrogen isotopic ratios of sinking particles and sediments from the northern Indian Ocean. Marine Chemistry, 96 (3-4). pp. 243-255. DOI

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δ15N values in modern sediments of the northern Indian Ocean range from < 4‰ in the northern Bay of Bengal to > 11‰ in the central Arabian Sea due to the strong spatial variability of processes influencing nitrogen cycling in the region. Suboxic conditions in Arabian Sea intermediate water lead to denitrification and accumulation of isotopically enriched nitrate in the water column. Upwelling of this enriched nitrate into the euphotic zone results in high δ15N values in Arabian Sea particulate matter and surface sediments. δ15N minima in the northern Bay of Bengal are caused by input of terrestrial organic matter as well as depleted nitrate from rivers. δ15N is about 8‰ in the equatorial Indian Ocean as the influence of oxygen deficiency and river input ceases.

δ15N of recent sediments correlates with the weighed mean δ15N of sediment trap material caught 500–1000 m above the sea floor, but with an enrichment of 2–3‰ between deep traps and underlying sediments. Only at two locations characterised by high sedimentation rates, there is no significant offset of δ15N values between traps and sediments. δ15N of sediments and trap samples from the Arabian Sea are correlated to the Degradation Index (DI) [Dauwe, B., Middelburg, J.J., Hermann, P.M.J., Heip, C.H.R., 1999. Linking diagenetic alteration of amino acids and bulk organic matter reactivity. Limnology and Oceanography, 44, 1809–1814], an indicator of amino acid degradation intensity, confirming the sensitivity of the δ15N to degradation.

These results have to be considered for the interpretation of the δ15N record in sediment cores with large variations of diagenetic intensities.

Document Type: Article
Programme Area: UNSPECIFIED
Research affiliation:
Biogeochemistry and Geology
Biogeochemistry and Geology > Carbon and Nutrient Cycling
Refereed: Yes
Open Access Journal?: No
ISSN: 03044203
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2020 17:59
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2024 13:30

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