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Variation of Nitrate Concentrations and δ15N Values of Seawater in the Drake Passage, Antarctic Ocean
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  • Journal title : Ocean and Polar Research
  • Volume 30, Issue 4,  2008, pp.407-418
  • Publisher : Korea Institute of Ocean Science & Technology
  • DOI : 10.4217/OPR.2008.30.4.407
 Title & Authors
Variation of Nitrate Concentrations and δ15N Values of Seawater in the Drake Passage, Antarctic Ocean
Jang, Yang-Hee; Khim, Boo-Keun; Shin, Hyoung-Chul; Sigman, Daniel M.; Wang, Yi; Hong, Chang-Su;
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Seawater samples were collected at discrete depths from five stations across the polar front in the Drake Passage (Antarctic Ocean) by the Korea Antarctic Research Program in December, 2006. Nitrate concentrations of seawater increase with depth within the photic zone above the depth of Upper Circumpolar Deep Water (UCDW). In contrast, values of seawater nitrate decrease with depth, showing a mirror image to the nitrate variation. Such a distinct vertical variation is mainly attributed to the degree of nitrate assimilation by phytoplankton as well as organic matter degradation of sinking particles within the surface layer. The preferential assimilation by the phytoplankton causes concentration to become high in a closedsystem surface-water environment during the primary production, whereas more is added to the seawater during the degradation of sinking organic particles. The water-mass mixing seems to play an important role in the alteration of values in the deep layer below the UCDW. Across the polar front, nitrate concentrations of surface seawater decrease and corresponding values increase northward, which is likely due to the degree of nitrate utilization during the primary production. Based on the Rayleigh model, the calculated (isotope effect of nitrate uptake) values between 4.0%o and 5.8%o were validated by the previously reported data, although the preformed value of UCDW is important in the calculation of values.
nitrate;nitrogen isotope;isotope effect;Drake Passage;Antarctic Ocean;
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