Advertisement

Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 8, pp 1453–1463 | Cite as

Spatial variation of stable isotopes in different waters during melt season in the Laohugou Glacial Catchment, Shule River basin

  • Jin-kui WuEmail author
  • Yong-jian Ding
  • Jun-hua Yang
  • Shi-wei Liu
  • Ji-zu Chen
  • Jia-xin Zhou
  • Xiang Qin
Article

Abstract

To evaluate isotopic tracers at natural abundances by providing basic isotope data of the hydrological investigations and assessing the impacts of different factors on the water cycle, a total of 197 water samples were collected from the Laohugou Glacial catchment in the Shule River basin northwestern China during the 2013 ablation seasons and analyzed their H- and O-isotope composition. The results showed that the isotopic composition of precipitation in the Qilianshan Station in the Laohugou Glacial catchment was remarkable variability. Correspondingly, a higher slope of δ 18 O-δD diagram, with an average of 8.74, is obtained based on the precipitation samples collected on the Glacier No.12, mainly attributed to the lower temperature on the glacier surface. Because of percolation and elution, the isotopic composition at the bottom of the firn is nearly steady. The δ 18 O/altitude gradients for precipitation and melt water were -0.37‰/100 m and -0.34‰/100 m, respectively. Exposed to the air and influenced by strong ablation and evaporation, the isotopic values and the δ 18 O vs δD diagram of the glacial surface ice show no altitudinal effect, indicating that glacier ice has the similar origins with the firn. The variation of isotopic composition in the melt water, varying from -10.7‰ to -16.9‰ (δ 18 O) and from -61.1‰ to -122.1‰ (δD) indicates the recharging of snowmelt and glacial ice melt water produced at different altitudes. With a mean value of -13.3‰ for δ18O and -89.7‰ for δD, the isotopic composition of the stream water is much closer to the melt water, indicating that stream water is mainly recharged by the ablation water. Our results of the stable isotopic compositions in natural water in the Laohugou Glacial catchment indicate the fractionations and the smoothing fluctuations of the stable isotopes during evaporation, infiltration and mixture.

Keywords

Stable isotopes Precipitation/snow/ice Altitude effect Melt water Laohugou Glacial Catchment Qilian Mountains 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Ambach W, Dansgaard W, Eisner H, et al. (1968) The altitude effect on the isotopic composition of precipitation and glacier ice in the Alps. Tellus 20(4): 595–600. DOI: 10.1111/j.2153-3490.1968.tb00402.xCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Braud I, Bariac T, Gaudet J P, et al. (2005) SiSPAT Isotope: A coupled heat water and stable isotope (HDO and H218O) transport model for bare soil: Part I: Model description and first verifications. Journal of Hydrology 309: 277–300. Doi:10.1016/j.jhydrol.2004.12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Cable J, Ogle K, Williams D (2011). Contribution of glacier meltwater to streamflow in the Wind River Range, Wyoming, inferred via a Bayesian mixing model applied to isotopic measurements. Hydrological Processes 25(14): 228–2236. DOI: 10.1002/hyp.7982CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark I, Fritz P (1997) Environmental Isotopes in Hydrogeology. Lewis Publishers: Boca Raton.Google Scholar
  5. Cui X, Ren J, Qin X, et al. (2011a) Oxalate, floride record and their environmental significance in Laohugou Glacier No. 12, Qilian Mountains. Environmental Chemistry 30: 1919–1925. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  6. Cui X, Ren J, Qin X (2011b) Climatic and environmental records within a shallow ice core at the Laohugou Glacier No. 12, Qilian Mountains. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 33(6): 1251–1258. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. Dansgaard W (1964) Stable isotopes in precipitation. Tellus 16(4): 436–468.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dong Z, Qin X, Ren J, et al. (2013) A 47-year high resolution chemistry record of atmospheric environment change from the Laohugou Glacier No. 12, north slope of Qilian Mountains, China. Quaternary International 313-314: 137–146. DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2013.09.033Google Scholar
  9. Du W, Qin X, Liu Y, et al. (2008) Variation of the Laohugou Glacier No. 12 in the Qilian Mountains. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 30 (3): 373–379. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Feng F, Li Z, Jin S, et al. (2012) Hydrochemical Characteristics and Solute Dynamics of Meltwater Runoff of Urumqi Glacier No.1, Eastern Tianshan, Northwest China. Journal of Mountain Science 9: 472–482. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-012-2316-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gat JR (1996) Oxygen and hydrogen isotopes in the hydrological cycle. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 24: 225–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gonfiantini R, Roche MA, Olivry JC, et al. (2001) The altitude effect on the isotopic composition of tropical rains. Chemical Geology 181: 147–167.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gonfiantini R (1986) Environmental isotopes in lake studies. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry, vol. 2, The Terrestrial Environment, Fritz P, Fontes JCH (eds). Elsevier: Amsterdam. pp 113–168.Google Scholar
  14. Grayson RB, Gippel CJ, Finlayson BL, et al. (1997) Catchmentwide impacts on water quality: the use of ‘snapshot’ sampling during stable flow. Journal of Hydrology 199: 121–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. He Y, Yao T, Yang M, et al. (2000) The new results of ~180 studies on the system of precipitation, snow-ice and glacial runoff at the Glacier Baishui No. 1 region in Mt. Yulong, China. Journal of Glaciology and Geacryology 22(4): 391–393. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  16. Hodson A, Tranter M, Vaten G (2000) Contemporary rates of chemical denudation and atmospheric CO2 sequestration in glacier basin: an Arctic perspective. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 25: 1447–1471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hoffmann G, Werner M, Heimann M (1998) The water isotope module of the ECHAM atmospheric general circulation model—a study on time scales from days to several years. Journal of Geophysical Research 103(D14): 16871–16896.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hou D, Qin X, Wu J, et al. (2012) Isotopic, chemical characteristics and transforming relationship between surface water and groundwater in Xiaochangma River Basin. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 34 (3): 689–696. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  19. IAEA (2001) Environmental isotopes in the hydrological cycle, principles and applications, Volume III: Surface Water. IAEA: Vienna.Google Scholar
  20. Joussaume S, Jouzel J, Sadourny R (1984) A general circulation model of water isotope cycles in the atmosphere. Nature 311: 24–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Jouzel J, Hoffman G, Koster RD, et al. (2000) Water isotopes in precipitation: data/model comparison for present-day and past climates. Quaternary Science Review 19(1-5): 363–379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jouzel J, Merlivat L (1984) Deuterium and oxygen 18 in precipitation: modeling of the isotopic effects during snow formation. Journal of Geophysical Research 89: 11749–11757.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kumar US, Kumar B., Rai SP, et al. (2010) Stable isotope ratios in precipitation and their relationship with meteorological conditions in the Kumaon Himalayas, India. Journal of Hydrology 391: 1–8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2010.06.019CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Li HC, Ku TL, Yuan DX, et al. (2007) Stable isotopic compositions of waters in the karst environments of China: Climatic implications. Applied Geochemistry 22: 1748–1763. DOI: 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2007.03.032CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Li Z, Yao T, Tian L, et al. (2006) Variations of d18O in precipitation from the Muztagata Glacier, East Pamirs. Science in China: Series D Earth Sciences 49(1): 36–42. DOI: 10.1007/s11430-004-5090-8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Liu J, Zhao Y, Liu E, et al (1997) Discuss on the stable isotope time-space distribution law of China atmospheric precipitation. Science and Technology on Reconnaissance 3: 34–39. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Liu Y., Qin X., Du W, et al. (2010) Analysis of the movement features of the Laohugou Glacier No. 12 in the Qilian Mountains. Journal of Glaciology and Geocryology 32(3): 475–479. (In Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Liu Z, Tian L, Yao T, et al. (2007) Temporal and spatial variations of d18O in precipitation of the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin. Journal of Geographical Sciences 17(3): 317–326. DOI: 10.1007/s11442-007-0317-1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Moser H, Stichler W (1980) Environmental isotopes in ice and snow. In: Handbook of Environmental Isotope Geochemistry (1). Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company pp 141–178.Google Scholar
  30. Niewodniczanski J, Grabczak J, Baranski L, et al. (1981) The altitude effect on the isotopic composition of snow in high mountains. Journal of Glaciology 27: 99–111.Google Scholar
  31. Poage MA, Chamberlain CP (2001) Empirical relationships between elevation and the stable isotope composition of precipitation and surface waters: considerations for studies of paleoelevation change, American Journal of Science 301: 1–15. DOI: 10.2475/ajs.301.1.1Google Scholar
  32. Rozanski K, Araguás-Araguás L, Confiantini R (1993) Isotopic patterns in modern global precipitation. In: Swart PK, Lohmann KC, McKenzie J (Eds.) Climate change in Continental Isotopic Records, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., 78, AGU, Washington D.C. pp 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sun W, Qin X, Ren J, et al. (2012) The surface energy budget in the accumulation zone of the Laohugou Glacier No.12 in the Western Qilian Mountains in summer 2009, China. Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research 44(3): 296–305. DOI: 10.1657/1938-4246-44.3.296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wang Y, Chen J, Wang J, et al. (2009) Theoretical research on the relationship between deuterium and oxygen-18 in precipitation. Advances in Water Science 20(2): 204–208.Google Scholar
  35. Wu J, Ding Y, Ye B, et al. (2010) Spatio-temporal variation of stable isotopes in precipitation in the Heihe River basin, northwestern China. Environmental Earth Sciences 61(6): 1123–1134. DOI: 10.1007/s12665-009-0432-7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Yuan D., Cheng H., Edwards RL, et al. (2004) Timing, duration, and transitions of the last interglacial Asian monsoon. Science 304: 575–578. DOI: 10.1126/science.1091220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zhang X, Sun Z, Guan H, et al. (2011) Intercomparison of d18O in Precipitation Simulated by Isotopic GCMs with GNIP Observation over the East Asia. Procedia Environmental Sciences 10: 1601–1612. DOI: 10.1016/j.proenv.2011.09.254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zhang X, Yao T, Liu J (2003) Oxygen-18 in different waters in Urumqi River Basin. Journal of Geographical Sciences 13 (4): 438–446. DOI: 10.1007/BF02837882CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhang Y, Liu S, Shangguan D, et al. (2012) Thinning and Shrinkage of Laohugou No. 12 Glacier in the Western Qilian Mountains, China, from 1957 to 2007. Journal of Mountain Science 9: 343–350. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-009-2296-4Google Scholar
  40. Zhou S, Nakawo M, Sakai A, et al. (2007) Water isotope variations in the snow pack and summer precipitation at July 1 Glacier, Qilian Mountains in northwest China. Chinese Science Bulletin 52(21): 2963–2972. DOI: 10.1007/s11434-007-0401-zCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jin-kui Wu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Yong-jian Ding
    • 1
  • Jun-hua Yang
    • 2
  • Shi-wei Liu
    • 1
  • Ji-zu Chen
    • 2
  • Jia-xin Zhou
    • 1
  • Xiang Qin
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratory of Watershed Hydrology and Ecology, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.Qilian Shan station of Glaciology and Ecologic Environment, State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Institute for Landscape Ecology and Resources ManagementJustus-Liebig-University GiessenGiessenGermany

Personalised recommendations