Nitrous Oxide Production in Nearshore Marine Sediments

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Science  16 Dec 1983:
Vol. 222, Issue 4629, pp. 1244-1246
DOI: 10.1126/science.222.4629.1244


Coastal marine sediments are shown to be a net source of nitrous oxide. The rates of nitrous oxide flux from sediments in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, ranged from 20 to more than 900 nanomoles per square meter per hour. Sediments from a eutrophic area had higher rates of net nitrous oxide production than sediments from relatively unpolluted sites. The benthic, nitrous oxide source exceeds the nitrous oxide source to the bay from sewage treatment plant effluent.