The stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen in precipitation provide a useful reference for the study of hydrological processes, but concerns have been raised regarding the established patterns in their variations in a monsoon climate zone. In this study, stable isotopes (δ18
O and δ2
H) of 539 daily precipitation samples from seven hydrometeorological stations in the Beijing area were used to investigate short-term isotopic variations and the controlling factors at a region with a monsoon climate. The δ18
O in the precipitation increases from the northwest to the south, which is controlled by the monsoon from the south and continental moisture from the northwest. Consistently, both the high δ18
O values and low deuterium excess values from May to September reveal the impact of the monsoon. The amount effect is significant during the monsoon season. In contrast, the T effect is significant, with a gradient of 0.4‰ per °C during the non-monsoon season. A Rayleigh distillation model indicates that the moisture source and residual vapor fraction are the two most important factors in controlling the δ18
O patterns in precipitation in a monsoon region, independent of temperature. The result of this study is helpful for the understanding of the regional atmospheric water cycle.
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