Spatial distribution and formation of nitrate radical NO 2−3 in Antarctic calcitic evaporates


Nitrate radical NO 2−3 in calcitic evaporate was discovered in Antarctica. The distribution and formation of nitrate radical NO 2−3 in the calcite have been studied by pulse and continuous-wave electron spin resonance. In samples that had been annealed to destroy the NO 2−3 , regeneration of the radical by γ-rays or UV light indicated that the radical was formed by UV light (with wavelengths less than 340 nm) from solar rays, not by environmental radiation. The nonuniform spatial distribution of the nitrate radical, which was deduced from high ratios of local spin density to total spin density, suggests that the nitrate impurity was introduced into the calcium carbonate after carbonate grain formation. Formation of the carbonate-containing nitrate requires the presence of high amounts of nitrate and a dry climate. Formation of the nitrate radical requires sample exposure to UV light. These conditions are satisfied in the environment of Antarctica.

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Sato, H., Tani, A., Fielding, A.J. et al. Spatial distribution and formation of nitrate radical NO 2−3 in Antarctic calcitic evaporates. Appl. Magn. Reson. 26, 601 (2004).

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  • Calcite
  • Electron Spin Resonance
  • Electron Spin Resonance Spectrum
  • Calcium Carbonate
  • Electron Spin Resonance Signal