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Open AccessArticle

Controls on Deuterium Excess across Asia

Portland State University, Geology Department, 1721 SW Broadway, Portland, OR 97201, USA
Geosciences 2018, 8(7), 257;
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 28 June 2018 / Accepted: 2 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Isotope Geochemistry)
Deuterium excess (d-excess) is a second-order stable isotope parameter measured in meteoric water to understand both the source of precipitation and the evolution of moisture during transport. However, the interpretation of d-excess patterns in precipitation is often ambiguous, as changes in moisture source and processes during vapor transport both affect d-excess in non-unique ways. This is particularly true in Asia where continental moisture travels a long distance across diverse environments from unique moisture sources before falling as precipitation. Here, I analyzed published d-excess records from meteoric water throughout Asia to better characterize what influences d-excess values. I conclude that, (1) an increase in d-excess values with elevation up the windward side of mountain ranges and a marked decrease in d-excess into their rain shadows are primarily related to subcloud evaporation as opposed to moisture source mixing; (2) high d-excess values (>10‰) associated with the eastern Mediterranean Sea are lowered across much of Central Asia by the addition of other moisture sources, both oceanic and recycled continental; (3) subcloud evaporation of raindrops is lowering d-excess values of precipitation (<10‰) throughout the relatively arid Tarim Basin, China; and (4) temporal changes in d-excess values of alpine glaciers do reflect spatio-temporal changes in moisture source, as these samples experience minimal variation in subcloud evaporation. View Full-Text
Keywords: stable isotope geochemistry; meteoric water; Central Asia; evaporation; hydrologic cycle; climate; paleoclimate stable isotope geochemistry; meteoric water; Central Asia; evaporation; hydrologic cycle; climate; paleoclimate
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Bershaw, J. Controls on Deuterium Excess across Asia. Geosciences 2018, 8, 257.

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