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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-534
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2018-534
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 07 Nov 2018

Research article | 07 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS).

Variation of deuterium excess in surface waters across a 5000-m elevation gradient in the east-central Himalaya

Katalyn A. Voss1, Bodo Bookhagen1,2, Dirk Sachse3, and Oliver A. Chadwick1 Katalyn A. Voss et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
  • 2Institute of Earth Environmental Sciences, Potsdam University, Germany
  • 3GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences, Section 5.1 Geomorphology, Germany

Abstract. The strong elevation gradient of the Himalaya allows investigation of altitude and orographic impacts on precipitation isotope values as captured in river samples. This study provides new high-elevation data along a 5000 m gradient collected from rain, snow, and glacial-sourced surface waters and time-series data from April to October 2016 to differentiate the time-variable contributions of source waters to the Arun River. We find nonlinear trends in δ18O and δD lapse rates driven by samples collected at high elevations and a distinct seasonal signal indicative of moisture source influences the surface-water isotope values. Deuterium excess is correlated to snowpack and used to track melt events during the monsoon. Our analysis identifies contributions from snowpack to river discharge before the monsoon onset followed by a 5-week transition to Indian Summer Monsoon-sourced rainfall around mid-June 2016.

Katalyn A. Voss et al.
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Katalyn A. Voss et al.
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Short summary
Water supply in the Himalayas is derived from rainfall, snowpack, glacial melt, and groundwater that vary spatially and seasonally. This study provides new data collected from rain, snow, and glacial-sourced surface waters over a 5000 m elevation range from April to October 2016. We identify water sourced from the summer monsoon versus winter westerly storms and track major snow and glacial melt events to elucidate the sourcing and timing of Himalayan streamflow and inform water management.
Water supply in the Himalayas is derived from rainfall, snowpack, glacial melt, and groundwater...
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