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Open AccessArticle

Precipitation Isotopes Associated with the Duration and Distance of Moisture Trajectory in a Westerly-Dominant Setting

1
College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou 730070, China
2
Institute of Desert Meteorology, China Meteorological Administration, Urumqi 830002, China
3
Lanzhou Literature and Information Center, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2434; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122434
Received: 23 September 2019 / Revised: 15 November 2019 / Accepted: 18 November 2019 / Published: 20 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydrology)
A Lagrangian diagnostic adjusted using specific humidity, with 6 h intervals along the trajectory and with lifting condensation level as cloud base height, was employed to identify the moisture source regions around the Tianshan Mountains, northwest China. Then, the relationship between precipitation stable isotopes and diagnosed duration–distance of moisture trajectory was analyzed. In this region, the median value of transport duration from moisture source to precipitation sampling site is approximately 3 days, and most moisture sources are closer than 1000 km. According to the Lagrangian diagnosed moisture sources, the higher precipitation summer months usually have rapid air mass movement, and remotely sourced moisture can be delivered to arid central Asia; in the dryer winter months, the moisture loading is weak, and longer transport duration and shorter source distances are observed. As trajectory duration increases, δ18O in sampled precipitation shows a positive trend, especially on the northern slope, and the short-duration events are usually significantly impacted by local recycled moisture with depleted isotopic signatures. The northern slope usually shows relatively shorter duration and longer distance, and more distant sources have more enriched isotopic values.
Keywords: Lagrangian moisture diagnostic; precipitation; stable isotopes; Tianshan Mountains Lagrangian moisture diagnostic; precipitation; stable isotopes; Tianshan Mountains
MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, S.; Du, M.; Zhang, M.; Shi, M.; Jiao, R.; Wang, L. Precipitation Isotopes Associated with the Duration and Distance of Moisture Trajectory in a Westerly-Dominant Setting. Water 2019, 11, 2434.

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