Isotropic Fractionation During Air-Water Transfer of Oxygen and Nitrogen

by Molly Knox, Univ of Washington, Seattle, United States,
Paul D. Quay, Univ of Washington, Seattle, United States,
David Wilbur, Univ of Washington, Seattle, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Air-Water Mass Transfer


We present empirical results that show the kinetic fractionation during gas exchange is 0.9972 ± .0002 for oxygen and 0.9987 ± .0001 for nitrogen. These values are larger than the solubility fractionation for either gas and in the case of oxygen, smaller than the isotopic fractionation during respiration and within the range of values reported for the fractionation during photosynthesis. The experimental work presented in this paper is part of a larger project in which measurements of 18O/16O and O2 saturation are used as geochemical tracers of photosynthesis and respiration rates in the surface ocean. The use of 18O/16O as a tracer for new production has been limited by uncertainty in the fractionation factor for gas transfer.

Subject Headings: Isotropy | Oxygen transfer | Nitrogen | Probe instruments | Natural gas | Empirical equations | Solubility | Case studies

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