Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-3009
https://doi.org/10.5194/egusphere-2023-3009
21 Dec 2023
 | 21 Dec 2023

Dissolved Nitric Oxide in the Lower Elbe Estuary and the Hamburg Port Area

Riel Carlo O. Ingeniero, Gesa Schulz, and Hermann W. Bange

Abstract. Nitric oxide (NO) is an intermediate of various microbial nitrogen cycle processes and the open ocean and coastal areas are generally a source of NO in the atmosphere. However, our knowledge about its distribution and the main production processes in coastal areas and estuaries is rudimentary at best. To this end, dissolved NO concentrations were measured for the first time in surface waters along the lower Elbe Estuary and Hamburg Port area in July 2021. The discrete surface water samples were analyzed using a chemiluminescence detection method. The NO concentrations ranged from below the limit of detection (9.1 × 10−12 mol L−1) to 17.7 × 10−12 mol L−1, averaging at 12.5 × 10−12 mol L−1 and were supersaturated in the surface layer of both the lower Elbe Estuary and the Hamburg Port area, indicating that the study site was a source of NO to the atmosphere during the study period. On the basis of a comprehensive comparison of NO concentrations with parallel nutrient, oxygen, and nitrous oxide concentration measurements, we conclude that the observed distribution of dissolved NO was most likely resulting from microbial nitrogen transformation processes, particularly nitrification in the coastal-brackish and limnic zones of the lower Elbe Estuary and nitrifier-denitrification in the Hamburg Port area.

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Riel Carlo O. Ingeniero, Gesa Schulz, and Hermann W. Bange

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-3009', Anonymous Referee #1, 18 Jan 2024
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Riel Carlo O. Ingeniero, 06 Mar 2024
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-3009', Anonymous Referee #2, 26 Jan 2024
    • AC3: 'Reply on RC2', Riel Carlo O. Ingeniero, 06 Mar 2024
  • RC3: 'Comment on egusphere-2023-3009', Anonymous Referee #3, 13 Feb 2024
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC3', Riel Carlo O. Ingeniero, 06 Mar 2024
      • AC4: 'Reply on RC3 on Lines 323-333', Riel Carlo O. Ingeniero, 11 Mar 2024
Riel Carlo O. Ingeniero, Gesa Schulz, and Hermann W. Bange
Riel Carlo O. Ingeniero, Gesa Schulz, and Hermann W. Bange

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Short summary
Our research is the first to measure dissolved NO concentrations in temperate estuarine waters, providing insights into its distribution under varying conditions and enhancing our understanding of its production processes. We found that the lower Elbe Estuary and the Hamburg Port area were a source of atmospheric NO. Our results suggest that NO in the lower Elbe Estuary was produced during nitrification, whereas NO in the Hamburg Port area was produced during nitrifier-denitrification.