Science Serving Maryland's Coasts

Christina Darkangelo Wood, Long Island University, Southampton

Class Year: 

Project Title: 

Denitrification in Brackish Pond Sediments: Test of a New Method


A new method was developed for studying the effects of nitrate and acetate addition in stimulating denitrification in brackish pond sediment. This was done using an air tight flow through core system and measuring N2 gas evolution using a membrane inlet mass spectrometer. The experimental design allowed for direct measurement of denitrification without the use of inhibitors nor significant altering on dissolved gases. It was determined that nitrate concentration had a direct effect on dissolved gases. It was determined that nitrate concentration has a direct effect on the denitrification process as shown by the immediate increase in N2 production. It also was found that there was no coupling between oxygen consumption and nitrogen evolution. The comparison to published values indicated that this direct, immediate measurement method gave similar denitrification results with better replicability. These experiments showed that the method had high precision, reliability, and rapid analysis. It also could be done with a small volume of sample.