Identifying the external N and Hg inputs to the estuary ecosystem based on the triple isotopic information (δ15NNO3, Δ17ONO3 and δ18ONO3)

Haryun Kim, Hye Seon Kim, Jihee Kim, Dongwoo Yang, Kitack Lee, Kitae Kim, Giyoung Ock, Hyung Geun Park, Rebecca S. Robinson, Min Seob Kim, Geun Ha Park, Ju Hyoung Kim, Young Il Kim, Myoung Hoon Lee, Chae Un Park, Dhongil Lim, Seunghee Han, Tae Wook Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The supply and sources of N and Hg in the Geum estuary of the western coast of Korea were evaluated. Triple isotope proxies (δ15NNO3, Δ17ONO3 and δ18ONO3) of NO3 combined with conservative mixing between river and ocean waters were used to improve isotope finger-printing methods. The N pool in the Geum estuary was primarily influenced by the Yellow Sea water, followed by riverine discharge (821 × 106 mol yr−1) and atmospheric deposition (51 × 106 mol yr−1). The influence of the river was found to be greater for Hg than that of the atmosphere. The triple isotope proxies revealed that the riverine and atmospheric inputs of N have been affected by septic wastes and fossil fuel burning, respectively. From the inner estuary towards offshore region, the influence of the river diminishes, thus increasing the relative impact of the atmosphere. Moreover, the isotope proxies showed a significant influence of N assimilation in February and nitrification in May.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116035
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume200
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024 Mar

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024

Keywords

  • Estuary
  • Mercury
  • Nitrogen
  • Triple nitrogen isotope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Pollution

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