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Open AccessArticle

Stable Isotopes of Precipitation in China: A Consideration of Moisture Sources

by Yanlong Kong 1,2,3,*, Ke Wang 1,2,3, Jie Li 4 and Zhonghe Pang 1,2,3,*
1
Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
2
Institutions of Earth Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
4
College of Water Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(6), 1239; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11061239
Received: 17 April 2019 / Revised: 2 June 2019 / Accepted: 5 June 2019 / Published: 13 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Water Stable Isotopes in Hydrological Process)
An accurate representation of the spatial distribution of stable isotopes in modern precipitation is vital for interpreting hydrological and climatic processes. Considering the dominant impact of moisture sources in controlling water isotopes and deuterium excess, we conducted a meta-analysis of precipitation isotopes using instrumental data from 68 stations around China. The entire country is divided into five regions according to the major moisture sources: Region I (the westerlies domain), Region II (the arctic domain), Region III (the northeast domain), Region IV (the Pacific domain), and Region V (the Tibetan Plateau). Each region has unique features of spatial distribution and seasonal variation for stable precipitation isotopes and deuterium excess. In particular, seasonal variation in Region IV tracks the onset of Asian summer monsoons well. The regional meteoric water lines are presented for each region. A significant temperature effect is found in Regions I and III, with δ18O-temperature gradients of 0.13–0.68‰/°C and 0.13–0.4‰/°C, respectively. However, the reasons for the temperature effects are quite different. In Region I, this effect is caused by the seasonal shift of the westerlies, whereas in Region III, it is caused by the seasonal difference in moisture sources. The precipitation amount effect is most significant in the region along the southeast coast in China, where the δ18O-precipitation amount the gradient is −0.24 to −0.13‰/mm. The findings in our paper could serve as a reference for isotopic application in hydrological and paleo-climatic research. View Full-Text
Keywords: stable isotopes D and 18O; moisture source; temperature effect; precipitation amount effect; regionalization; China stable isotopes D and 18O; moisture source; temperature effect; precipitation amount effect; regionalization; China
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kong, Y.; Wang, K.; Li, J.; Pang, Z. Stable Isotopes of Precipitation in China: A Consideration of Moisture Sources. Water 2019, 11, 1239.

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