Water column profiles of salinity, dissolved nitrate, and nitrogen isotope ratios of nitrate reveal distinct north-south differences in nitrate origin and supply pathways in the western equatorial Pacific. Credit: Lehmann et al., 2018, Figures 3a, 3d and 4a
Source: Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans

The equatorial Pacific exerts an important influence on lower latitude biogeochemistry and supports nearly ten percent of global primary production. It has long been suggested that nutrients in the equatorial Pacific originate from the Southern Ocean but few studies have attempted to determine the source and quantify the contribution. Using a combination of geochemical tracers that aren’t often measured together, especially not in this combination, Lehmann et al. [2018] support and justify the theory of a predominantly Southern Ocean source of nitrate. In addition to unraveling the sources, transformation, and communication of subsurface nutrients, these results are of value in predicting local and regional biogeochemical variability in this region.

Citation: Lehmann, N., Granger, J., Kienast, M., Brown, K. S., Rafter, P. A., Martínez-Méndez, G., et al. [2018]. Isotopic evidence for the evolution of subsurface nitrate in the Western Equatorial Pacific. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, 123. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JC013527

—S. Bradley Moran, Editor, JGR: Oceans

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