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Journal of Oceanography

, Volume 71, Issue 1, pp 19–26 | Cite as

Estimating the nitrate concentration from the dissolved oxygen concentration and seawater temperature in the Kuroshio extension, Oyashio, and mixed water regions

  • Miho Ishizu
  • Chiho Sukigara
  • Toshio Suga
  • Kelvin J. Richards
Original Article

Abstract

For the purpose of estimating nitrate concentration using the dissolved oxygen concentration and seawater temperature recorded in an instrument such as a profiling float with an oxygen sensor, we examined the relationship between oxygen and nitrate concentrations in the Kuroshio Extension, Oyashio, and mixed water regions (34–43ºN, 140–150ºE) using vertical profile data, which includes temperature, salinity, oxygen, and nitrate, from the World Ocean Database 2005. Examining the NO3/O2 ratio along isotherms, we found a clear linear regression between the oxygen and nitrate concentrations in each potential temperature range, irrespective of water mass and seasonal variation. The slopes represented by the NO3/O2 ratio in each temperature range varied from −0.07 to −0.12. The benefit of analyzing data on constant potential temperature surfaces arises because of the strong dependence of the oxygen saturation of surface waters on temperature. This sets the end point of subducted waters and helps distinguish waters that may have similar preformed nitrate values. Our results suggest that subsequent reminearlization in the subducted water retained the Redfield ratio between N and O2. The estimate of nitrate concentration, by using the oxygen–nitrate relationship discovered in the present study, showed good accuracy with in general a mean error of less than 2.0 μmol/kg. The present method has been demonstrated to be a useful tool for estimating the nitrate concentration from temperature and oxygen.

Keywords

Oxygen Nitrate Mixed water region between Kuroshio and Oyashio 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the members of the Oceanography Group at Tohoku University and at University of Hawaii at Manoa for their helpful discussions throughout this study. Thanks also to Dr. B. Qiu and M. Izumi who carefully read this paper and made suggestions. We would also like to thank anonymous reviewers whose comments have greatly improved the manuscript. This work was supported by “Studies on Prediction and Application of Fish Species Alteration (SUPRFISH)” sponsored by the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council (AFFRC), Japan and the Japanese Agency for Marine Earth Science and Technology. TS was supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas (22106007).

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Copyright information

© The Oceanographic Society of Japan and Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miho Ishizu
    • 1
  • Chiho Sukigara
    • 2
  • Toshio Suga
    • 3
  • Kelvin J. Richards
    • 4
  1. 1.Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of TokyoKashiwa-shiJapan
  2. 2.Hydrospheric Atmospheric Research CenterNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Geophysics, Graduate School of ScienceTohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  4. 4.Department of Oceanography, International Pacific Research CenterUniversity of Hawaii at ManoaHonoluluUSA

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