Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-45
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-2021-45

  09 Mar 2021

09 Mar 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal BG.

Stable isotope ratios in seawater nitrate reflect the influence of Pacific water along the Northwest Atlantic margin

Owen A. Sherwood1, Samuel H. Davin2, Nadine Lehmann3, Carolyn Buchwald3, Evan N. Edinger4, Moritz F. Lehmann5, and Markus Kienast3 Owen A. Sherwood et al.
  • 1Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2, Canada
  • 2GEOTOP Research Centre, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, H3C 3P8, Canada
  • 3Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, B3H 4R2, Canada
  • 4Department of Geography, Department of Biology, and Department of Earth Sciences, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL, A1B 3X9, Canada
  • 5Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Basel, Basel, 4056, Switzerland

Abstract. The flow of Pacific water to the North Atlantic exerts a globally significant control on nutrient balances between the two ocean basins, and strongly influences biological productivity in the Northwest Atlantic. Nutrient ratios of nitrate (N) versus phosphate (P) have previously been used to complement salinity characteristics in tracing the distribution of Pacific water in the North Atlantic. We expand on this premise and demonstrate that the fraction of Pacific water as determined by N / P ratios can be quantitatively predicted from the isotopic composition of sub-euphotic nitrate in the Northwest Atlantic. Our linear model thus provides a critically important framework for interpreting δ15N signatures incorporated into both modern marine biomass, as well as organic material in historical and paleoceanographic archives along the Northwest Atlantic margin.

Owen A. Sherwood et al.

Status: open (until 20 Apr 2021)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on bg-2021-45 Stable isotope ratios in seawater nitrate reflect the influence of Pacific water along the Northwest Atlantic margin by Sherwood et al. ', Anonymous Referee #1, 08 Apr 2021 reply
  • RC2: 'Comment on bg-2021-45', Anonymous Referee #2, 13 Apr 2021 reply

Owen A. Sherwood et al.

Data sets

Bottle data to accompany Sherwood et al.: Stable isotope ratios in seawater nitrate reflect the influence of Pacific water along the Northwest Atlantic margin O. A. Sherwood et al. https://datadryad.org/stash/share/64DFAhGscdG_9Vi6boX1yTF8J_0RZo_-yWydV7BYVeg

Owen A. Sherwood et al.

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Short summary
Pacific Water flowing eastward through the Canadian Arctic plays an important role in redistributing nutrients to the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Using samples collected from northern Baffin Bay to the southern Labrador Shelf, we show that stable isotopic ratios in seawater nitrate reflect the fraction of Pacific to Atlantic Water. These results provide a new framework for interpreting patterns of nitrogen isotopic variability recorded in modern and archival organic materials in the region.
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