Nitrous oxide is produced in the oceanic water column by two microbial processes, nitrification and denitrification. Nitrification happens almost everywhere in the ocean, producing small amounts of N2O that accumulate in the water column. In contrast, denitrification happens only in areas where the oxygen concentration is very low, but it can produce and consume large amounts of N2O. The highest emissions of N2O from the oceans can be found in areas where subsurface waters, which are enriched in N2O, are brought to the surface ocean, e.g. in the coastal eastern boundary upwelling areas. Measurements of N2O cover all major sea, the majority of these data being surface measurements (see Figure below).
Location of surface and depth profile measurements of N2O included in MEMENTO (2014); large dots indicate available depth profiles.
We are continously looking to expand the N2O database, and would strongly encourage scientists to contribute their data to MEMENTO. If you wish to contribute your data, then there are data submission templates where you could fill in all the required information and send it directly to us.