Nitrate anomaly in the upper nutricline in the northern South China Sea - Evidence for nitrogen fixation

George T.F. Wong, Shi Wei Chung, Fuh Kwo Shiah, Chung Chi Chen, Liang Saw Wen, Kon Kee Liu

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Abstract

Up to 2 μM of nitrate anomaly, N∗, were found in the upper nutricline at the South East Asia Time-series Study (SEATS) site in the northern South China Sea (SCS). These concentrations were among the higher values reported in the Pacific and indicate the significant contribution of the remineralization of nitrogen-rich organic matter formed by nitrogen fixation to the nutrient dynamics of the area. The concentrations were systematically higher, by up to 2.5 μM, in the Fall through the early Spring, during the northeast monsoon, than in the Summer, suggesting that the impact of nitrogen fixation was higher during the former time period. This pattern is in phase with that of the atmospheric deposition of Asian dust to the northern SCS. The coherence is consistent with a coupling between nitrogen fixation and the availability of atmospherically derived iron.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2097
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume29
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Dec 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)

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