Nitrogen in the silicate earth:Speciation and isotopic behavior during mineral-fluid interactions

Vincent Busigny, Gray E. Bebout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrogen is the main constituent of Earth's atmosphere and a key component of the biosphere, but it is a trace element in the major silicate reservoirs. The relatively low concentrations (parts per million level) complicate efforts to constrain the nitrogen speciation and abundance in the mantle and crust. In most silicates, nitrogen occurs as NH4 + (substituting for K+), whereas its speciation in hydrous fl uids and silicate melts can vary widely depending in large part on redox conditions. Current knowledge of nitrogen isotope fractionation among relevant mineral and fl uid/melt phases is limited by the lack of experimental data to confi rm theoretical predictions of these fractionations. Modeling of modern and long-term nitrogen cycling on Earth will be advanced by better constraints on the sizes and isotopic compositions of the major crust and mantle nitrogen reservoirs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-358
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Ammonium
  • Continental and oceanic crust
  • Fractionation factors
  • Mantle composition
  • Nitrogen cycling
  • Nitrogen speciation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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