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    Author(s): Greg Michalski; Thomas Meixner; Mark E. Fenn; Larry Hernandez; Abby Sirulnik; Edith Allen; Mark Thiemens
    Date: 2004
    Source: Environmental Science and Technology 38(7):2175-2181
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (240 KB)


    The isotopic composition of nitrate collected from aerosols, fog, and precipitation was measured and found to have a large 17O anomaly with Δ17O values ranging from 20‰ to 30‰ (Δ17O δ17O - 0.52(δ18O)). This 17O anomaly was used to trace atmospheric deposition of nitrate to a semiarid ecosystem in southern California. We demonstrate that the Δ17O signal is a conserved tracer of atmospheric nitrate deposition and is a more robust indicator of N deposition relative to standard δ18O techniques. The data indicate that a substantial portion of nitrate found in the local soil, stream, and groundwater is of atmospheric origin and does not undergo biologic processing before being exported from the system.

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    Michalski, Greg; Meixner, Thomas; Fenn, Mark E.; Hernandez, Larry; Sirulnik, Abby; Allen, Edith; Thiemens, Mark. 2004. Tracing atmospheric nitrate deposition in a complex semiarid ecosystem using Δ17O. Environmental Science and Technology 38(7):2175-2181

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