A comparison of dissolved humic substances from seawater with Amazon River counterparts by 13C-NMR spectrometry

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Abstract

Although dissolved organic matter (DOM) in seawater constitutes one of the major reservoirs of reduced carbon on earth, the biochemical and geographic origins of this material and its hydrophobic humic component remain unclear. Rivers have been suggested as a potentially important source of marine DOM, but this implication has not yet been systematically tested by direct comparisons of the bulk structural characteristics of DOM isolated from representative ocean reservoirs and their major river sources. We report here such a comparison and find that dissolved humic substances isolated from surface and deep seawater in the East Equatorial and north Central Pacific are enriched in nitrogen and 13C and depleted in unsaturated carbon with respect to counterparts from the Amazon River system. Based on these observations, riverine dissolved humic substances appear to comprise a small fraction of seawater humic substances and therefore must be efficiently and rapidly removed from the ocean. © 1992.

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Hedges, J. I., Hatcher, P. G., Ertel, J. R., & Meyers-Schulte, K. J. (1992). A comparison of dissolved humic substances from seawater with Amazon River counterparts by 13C-NMR spectrometry. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 56(4), 1753–1757. https://doi.org/10.1016/0016-7037(92)90241-A

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