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Stable isotope fractionation during ultraviolet photolysis of N_2O

Rahn, Thom and Zhang, Hui and Wahlen, Martin and Blake, Geoffrey A. (1998) Stable isotope fractionation during ultraviolet photolysis of N_2O. Geophysical Research Letters, 25 (24). pp. 4489-4492. ISSN 0094-8276.

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The biogeochemical cycling of nitrous oxide plays an important role in greenhouse forcing and ozone regulation. Laboratory studies of N_2O:N_2 mixtures irradiated between 193–207 nm reveal a significant enrichment of the residual heavy nitrous oxide isotopomers. The isotopic signatures resulting from photolysis are well modeled by an irreversible Rayleigh distillation process, with large enrichment factors of ε_(15,18)(193 nm) = −18.4,‐14.5 per mil and ε_(15,18)(207 nm) = −48.7,‐46.0 per mil. These results, when combined with diffusive mixing processes, have the potential to explain the stratospheric enrichments previously observed.

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Additional Information:© 1998 American Geophysical Union. Received 25 August 1998; accepted 23 October 1998; accepted October 23, 1998. We thank A Spivack and Y. Yung for helpful discussions. Support for the light sources used in this work from the NSF MRI program (grant ATM-9724500 to GAB) is gratefully acknowledged.
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NSF MRI Program ATM-9724500
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120914-115151085
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Official Citation:Rahn, T., H. Zhang, M. Wahlen, and G. A. Blake (1998), Stable isotope fractionation during ultraviolet photolysis of N2O, Geophys. Res. Lett., 25(24), 4489–4492, doi:10.1029/1998GL900186
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:34098
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:14 Sep 2012 20:59
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 16:10

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