We measured the nitrous oxide (N2
O) distribution in the water column in the oxygen minimum zone off Peru, an area with extremely high N2
O emissions. Our data show very variable and often very high N2
O concentrations in the water column at the coast, which lead to high N2
O emissions when these waters are brought to the surface. The very high N2
O production off Peru may be caused by high nutrient turnover rates together with rapid changes in the oxygen concentrations.