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The nitrogen isotope-pairing method to measure sedimentary denitrification is evaluated by means of a general diagenetic model that describes the depth distribution of O-2, NH4+, (NO3- )-N-14, and (NO3-)-N-15, among others. The model simulations demonstrate that isotope fractionation effects during denitrification can be neglected, but that nonuniform mixing of added (NO3-)-N-15 with locally produced (NO3-)-N-14 causes underestimation of in situ rates of denitrification. Enrichment of bottom water with (NO3-)-N-15 concentrations above ambient levels not only results in enhanced rates of denitrification, but may also change in situ rates of coupled nitrification- denitrification. However, the resulting rates usually deviate
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1839-1844
JournalLimnology and Oceanography
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1996

ID: 289420