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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 19, issue 10
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4293–4306, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-4293-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 4293–4306, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-19-4293-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 22 Oct 2015

Research article | 22 Oct 2015

Effects of changes in moisture source and the upstream rainout on stable isotopes in precipitation – a case study in Nanjing, eastern China

Y. Tang1, H. Pang1,2, W. Zhang1, Y. Li1, S. Wu1,3, and S. Hou1,2 Y. Tang et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Coast and Island development of Ministry of Education, School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210023, China
  • 2Collaborative Innovation Center of Climate Change, Jiangsu Province, China
  • 3Geology Department, University of Dayton, Ohio 45469-2364, USA

Abstract. In the Asian monsoon region, variations in the stable isotopic composition of speleothems have often been attributed to the "amount effect". However, an increasing number of studies suggest that the "amount effect" in local precipitation is insignificant or even non-existent. To explore this issue further, we examined the variability of daily stable isotopic composition (δ18O) in precipitation from September 2011 to November 2014 in Nanjing, eastern China. We found that intra-seasonal variations of δ18O during summer were not significantly correlated with local rainfall amount but could be linked to changes in the moisture source location and rainout processes in the source regions. Our findings suggest that the stable isotopes in summer precipitation could signal the location shift of precipitation source regions in the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) over the course of the monsoon season. As a result, changes in moisture source location and upstream rainout effect should be taken into account when interpreting the stable isotopic composition of speleothems in the Asian monsoon region. In addition, the temperature effect on isotopic variations in non-monsoonal precipitation should also be considered because precipitation in the non-monsoon season accounts for about half of its annual precipitation.

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We examined the variability of daily stable isotopic composition in precipitation in Nanjing, eastern China. We found that both the upstream rainout effect on stable isotopes related to changes in the Asian summer monsoon and the temperature effect of precipitation stable isotopes associated with the Asian winter monsoon should be taken into account when interpreting the stable isotopic composition of speleothems in the Asian monsoon region.
We examined the variability of daily stable isotopic composition in precipitation in Nanjing,...
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