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      Comparison of nitrogen isotopic values from different preparation methods, supplement to: Higginson, Matthew J; Altabet, Mark A (2004): Comment on "Sedimentary phosphorus record from the Oman margin: New evidence of high productivity during glacial periods" by F. Tamburini et al. Paleoceanography, 19(2), PA2024

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          We are writing to comment on the work of Tamburini et al. (2003, doi:10.1029/2000PA000616). During the course of subsequent discussions between the authors and ourselves, it has become clear that the published sedimentary nitrogen isotopic values for Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Site 724 are in error. Our reanalysis of sediment samples from the same intervals has revealed a significant offset from the original d15N data, requiring a revised assessment of their initial interpretation. The purposes of this comment are to (1) address the origin of these errors; (2) outline a protocol for future validation of nitrogen isotopic analyses; and (3) provide revised interpretations of the sedimentary d15N data in terms of the regional relative contributions of denitrification and nitrogen fixation and mean state of the southwest monsoon.(2) Nitrogen isotopic values measured on late Quaternary sediments at Arabian Sea ODP Site 724 by Tamburini et al. (2003, doi:10.1029/2000PA000616) are inexplicably different from a number of published records of d15N from very nearby on the Oman margin (Altabet et al., 1995, doi:10.1038/373506a0; 1999, doi:10.1029/1999PA900035; 2002, doi:10.1038/415159a; Higginson et al., 2004, doi:10.1016/j.gca.2004.03.015) and elsewhere in the Arabian Sea (Reichart et al., 1998, doi:10.1029/98PA02203). These data were generated using similar instrumentation (elemental analyzer coupled with an isotope ratio mass spectrometer) and analytical methodology to those already published. Concerned by this clear discrepancy, we analyzed aliquots of sediment from the same depth intervals for nitrogen abundance and bulk sedimentary nitrogen isotopes. We have been unable to duplicate the values published by Tamburini et al. (2003, doi:10.1029/2000PA000616 ), even after analysis of multiple replicates and due consideration of natural sediment heterogeneities and postrecovery sample storage.

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          PANGAEA - Data Publisher for Earth & Environmental Science
          21 September 1987

          Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported


          Drilling/drill rig,Leg117,Joides Resolution,Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)


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