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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-2019-530
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-530
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 22 Oct 2019

Submitted as: research article | 22 Oct 2019

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

Hydrological and Runoff Formation Processes Based on Isotope Tracing During Ablation Period in the Third Polar Region

Zong-Jie Li1, Zong-Xing Li2, Ling-Ling Song3, and Jin-Zhu Ma1 Zong-Jie Li et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Western China's Environmental Systems (Ministry of Education), College of Earth Environmental Science, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Ecohydrology of Inland River Basin/Gansu Qilian Mountains Ecology Research Center, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • 3College of Forestry, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730070, China

Abstract. This study focused on the hydrological and runoff formation processes of river water in the source regions of the Yangtze river during different ablation episodes in 2016 and the ablation period from 2016 to 2018. The effects of altitude were greater for the river in the glacier permafrost area than for the mainstream and the permafrost area during the total ablation period in 2016. There was a significant negative correlation (at the 0.01 level) between precipitation and δ18O, while a significant positive correlation was evident between precipitation and d-excess. More interestingly, significant negative correlations appeared between δ18O and temperature, relative humidity, and evaporation. A mixed segmentation model for end-members was used to determine the proportion of the contributions of different water sources to the target water body. The proportions of precipitation, supra-permafrost water, and glacier and snow meltwater for the mainstream were 41.70 %, 40.88 %, and 17.42 %, respectively. The proportions of precipitation, supra-permafrost water, and glacier and snow meltwater were 33.63 %, 42.21 %, and 24.16 % for the river in the glacier permafrost area and 20.79 %, 69.54 %, and 9.67 %, respectively, for that in the permafrost area. The supra-permafrost water was relatively stable during the different ablation periods, becoming the main source of runoff in the alpine region, except for precipitation, during the total ablation period.

Zong-Jie Li et al.
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Short summary
This study mainly explores the hydraulic relations, recharge-drainage relations and their transformation paths, and the processes of each water body, and determines the composition of runoff, quantifies the contribution of each runoff component to different types of tributaries, and analyzes the hydrological effects of the temporal and spatial variation of runoff components. More importantly, we discussed the hydrological significance of permafrost and hydrological processes.
This study mainly explores the hydraulic relations, recharge-drainage relations and their...
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