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Atmosphere 2018, 9(9), 365;

Contributions of Atmospheric Transport and Rain–Vapor Exchange to Near-Surface Water Vapor in the Zhanjiang Mangrove Reserve, Southern China: An Isotopic Perspective

Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Earth System Modeling, Department of Earth System Science, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 15 September 2018 / Published: 19 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Biosphere/Hydrosphere/Land - Atmosphere Interactions)
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Coastal mangroves are increasingly recognized as valuable natural resources and important sites of water and carbon exchange. In this study, we examine atmospheric water cycling in the boundary layer above a coastal mangrove forest in southern China. We collected site observations of isotopic ratios in water vapor and precipitation along with core meteorological variables during July 2017. Our evaluation of these data highlights the influences of large-scale atmospheric transport and rain–vapor exchange in the boundary layer water budget. Rain–vapor exchange takes different forms for different types of rainfall events. The evolution of isotopic ratios in water vapor suggests that substantial rain recycling occurs during the passage of large-scale organized convective systems, but that this process is much weaker during rainfall associated with less organized events of local origin. We further examine the influences of large-scale transport during the observation period using a Lagrangian trajectory-based moisture source analysis. More than half (63%) of the boundary layer moisture during the study period traced back to the South China Sea, consistent with prevailing southerly to southwesterly flow. Other important moisture sources included mainland Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean, local land areas (e.g., Hainan Island and the Leizhou Peninsula), and the Pacific Ocean. Together, these five regions contributed more than 90% of the water vapor. The most pronounced changes in isotopic content due to large-scale transport during the study period were related to the passage of Tropical Storm Talas. The outer rain bands of this tropical cyclone passed over the measurement site on 15–17 July, causing a sharp reduction in the heavy isotopic content of boundary layer water vapor and a substantial increase in deuterium excess. These changes are consistent with extensive isotopic distillation and rain–vapor exchange in downdrafts associated with the intense convective systems produced by this storm. View Full-Text
Keywords: isotopes; water cycle; mangrove; convective rainfall; transport isotopes; water cycle; mangrove; convective rainfall; transport

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Lai, X.; Wright, J.S.; Huang, W.; Liang, J.; Lin, G.; Zhu, S. Contributions of Atmospheric Transport and Rain–Vapor Exchange to Near-Surface Water Vapor in the Zhanjiang Mangrove Reserve, Southern China: An Isotopic Perspective. Atmosphere 2018, 9, 365.

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