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Oxidative changes to nitrate and boron in marine pore waters

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Abstract

Reported changes in the composition of marine pore water on contact with air1–4 led us to investigate whether air-exposure of marine sediment might alter its interstitial concentrations of nitrate and boron. Nitrate should be a good indicator of changes in the oxidation state of marine sediments5,6, and interstitial boron should reflect changes in the reactivity of sedimentary components because it bonds to clays7,8 and sediments in a temperature-sensitive manner. We report here that interstitial nitrate concentrations can increase considerably during air exposure of marine sediment and that interstitial boron can be scavenged from some reducing sediment. Sedimentary boron scavenging may affect oceanic boron, but the process may be influenced by interstitial components that prevent the uptake of boron onto freshly formed hydrous ferric oxides.

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