Determination of dissolved nitric oxide in coastal waters of the Yellow Sea off Qingdao
Abstract. We developed a new method for the determination of dissolved nitric oxide (NO) in discrete seawater samples based on the combination of a purge-and-trap setup and a fluorometric detection of NO. 2,3-diaminonaphthalene (DAN) reacts with NO in seawater to form the highly fluorescent 2,3-naphthotriazole (NAT). The fluorescence intensity was linear for NO concentrations in the range from 0.14 to 19 nmol L−1. We determined a detection limit of 0.068 nmol L−1, an average recovery coefficient of 83.8 % (80.2–90.0 %), and a relative standard deviation of ±7.2 %. With our method we determined for the first time the temporal and spatial distributions of NO surface concentrations in coastal waters of the Yellow Sea off Qingdao and in Jiaozhou Bay during a cruise in November 2009. The concentrations of NO varied from below the detection limit to 0.50 nmol L−1 with an average of 0.26 ± 0.14 nmol L−1. NO surface concentrations were generally enhanced significantly during daytime, implying that NO formation processes such as NO2− photolysis are much higher during daytime than chemical NO consumption, which, in turn, lead to a significant decrease in NO concentrations during nighttime. In general, NO surface concentrations and measured NO production rates were higher compared to previously reported measurements. This might be caused by the high NO2− surface concentrations encountered during the cruise. Moreover, additional measurements of NO production rates implied that the occurrence of particles and a temperature increase can enhance NO production rates. With the method introduced here, we have a reliable and comparably easy to use method at hand to measure oceanic NO surface concentrations, which can be used to decipher both its temporal and spatial distributions as well as its biogeochemical pathways in the oceans.