Nitrogen isotopic inventory of the Lena River Delta

tina.sanders [ at ]


Permafrost-affected soils around the Arctic Ocean contain a large reservoir of organic matter including nitrogen, which partly reach the river after thawing, degradation and erosion of permafrost. After mobilization, reactive remineralised nitrogen is either used for primary production, microbial processing or is simply transported to coastal waters. We have analyzed soil, suspended matter and dissolved inorganic and organic nitrogen for their contents and 15N stable isotope composition to create a baseline for a nitrogen inventory of the Lena River Delta in 2019/2020. We used samples from two transect cruises through the delta in March and August 2019, a monitoring program at Samoylov Island in the central delta (2019/2020), and different soil type samples from Samoylov Island. Our data shows that the nitrogen transported from the delta to the Laptev Sea were dominated by dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) and nitrate, which occur in similar amounts of approx. 10 μmol/L. DON was available during the whole year. Nitrate showed a clear seasonal pattern: increase from late summer until the spring flood, during summer the nitrate concentration are close to zero. During the spring flood the nitrogen concentration are higher with up to 100 μmol/L. The nitrogen stable isotope values of the different nitrogen components ranges mainly between 0.5 and 4.5‰, and were subsequently enriched from the soils via suspended particulate matter (SPM)/sediment and DON to nitrate. During the spring flood, the stable isotope signature of nitrate suggested a strong source of atmospheric deposition. The 15N values are depleted with appox. -8‰ and the 18O values are enriched up to 60‰. Our data provides a baseline for isoscape analysis and can be used as an endmember signal for modeling approaches.

Item Type
Conference (Lecture)
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Publication Status
Eprint ID
Cite as
Sanders, T. , Fiencke, C. , Juhls, B. , Ogneva, O. , Strauß, J. , Tuerena, R. and Dähnke, K. (2022): Nitrogen isotopic inventory of the Lena River Delta

[thumbnail of Sanders_et_al_D-A-CH_Permafrost_Conference_2022.pdf]

Download (130kB) | Preview

Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email

Research Platforms

Arctic Land Expeditions > RU-Land_2019_Lena

Edit Item Edit Item