Additional Participants


Maria Maldonado

Other Collaborators or Contacts

Bess Ward

Project Period

January 2000-September 2002

Level of Access

Open-Access Report

Grant Number


Submission Date



Lake Bonney is a permanently ice-covered lake in the Dry ValleyÆs region of Antarctica separated into two deep lobes by a shallow (12 m) sill. Denitrification occurs in the sub-oxic, saline waters of the west lobe but not in that of the east lobe for reasons unknown. Previous work has established this disparity cannot be attributed to temperature or salinity limitations, nor by the comparative availability of organic carbon substrates. Our research objective is to determine if trace metal limitation or toxicity may be responsible for this unusual feature. The broader objective is to assess the likelihood that denitrification in the oceans may have been at times similarly affected, thereby complicating the use of nitrogen isotope data in paleoproductivity reconstructions.

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