Dynamic patterns of dissolved nitrogen in the Southern Bight of the North Sea
Baeyens, W.F.J.; Mommaerts, J.-P.; Goeyens, L.; Dehairs, F.A.; Dedeurwaerder, H.; Decadt, G. (1984). Dynamic patterns of dissolved nitrogen in the Southern Bight of the North Sea. Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 18(5): 499-510. https://hdl.handle.net/10.1016/0272-7714(84)90086-6
Spatial and temporal variations of dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) have been assessed in onshore and offshore areas of the Southern Bight on the basis of several years' measurements. They indicate that both the residual flow lines and DIN isoconcentration lines run parallel with the coast except in the vicinity of important freshwater discharge points such as the Scheldt estuary. Evidence was found that the seasonal DIN oscillations are not created through fluctuations in input conditions at the lateral boundaries, despite considerable fluctuations in these inputs which include the English Channel (from 500 tons(t) N day-1 in June up to approximately 2000 t N day-1 in February) and also rivers such as the Scheldt estuary (up to 50 t N day-1 in January but less than 5 t day-1 in June-July). In both the onshore and offshore areas the sum of daylight phytoplanktonic nitrogen intake and sediment release of nitrogen corresponds to the observed DIN variations during most of the year. Pelagic N-mineralization from natural or grazing mortality of phytoplankton (220 mg N m-2 day-1 onshore at its maximum) can account for the differences (200mg N day-1 onshore at its maximum), especially at the end of the phytoplankton spring bloom. Although the causes of DIN oscillations onshore and offshore are the same, the results differ because offshore (1) the vegetative season lasts longer, and (2) DIN is exhausted at the end of the phytoplankton spring bloom.
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