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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-2019-61
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2019-61
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 20 Feb 2019

Research article | 20 Feb 2019

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

Global sinusoidal seasonality in precipitation isotopes

Scott T. Allen1, Scott Jasechko2, Wouter R. Berghuijs1, Jeffrey M. Welker3,4, Gregory R. Goldsmith5, and James W. Kirchner1,6,7 Scott T. Allen et al.
  • 1Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich, Zurich, 8092, Switzerland
  • 2Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA, 93117, USA
  • 3UArctic & Ecology and Genetics Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland
  • 4Biological Sciences Department, University of Alaska, Anchorage
  • 5Schmid College of Science and Technology, Chapman University, Orange CA, 92866, USA
  • 6Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Birmensdorf, 8903, Switzerland
  • 7Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California, Berkeley, California, 94709, USA

Abstract. Quantifying seasonal variations in precipitation δ2H and δ18O is important for many stable isotope applications, including inferring plant water sources and streamflow ages. Here we present global maps that concisely quantify the seasonality of stable isotope ratios in precipitation. We fit sine curves defined by amplitude, phase and offset parameters to quantify annual precipitation isotope cycles at 653 meteorological stations on all seven continents. At most of these stations, including in tropical and subtropical regions, sine curves can adequately represent the seasonal cycles in precipitation isotopes. Additionally, the amplitude, phase, and offset parameters of these sine curves correlate with site climatic and geographic characteristics. Multiple linear regression models based on these site characteristics can map global precipitation isotope amplitudes, phases, and offsets. We then adjusted the regression-based maps for residual spatial variations that were not captured by the regression models. We make these gridded global maps of precipitation δ2H and δ18O cycles publicly available. We also make tabulated site data and fitted sine curve parameters available to support the development of regionally calibrated models, which will generally be more accurate than our global model for regionally specific studies.

Scott T. Allen et al.
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Short summary
We developed global maps that concisely quantify the seasonality of stable isotope ratios in precipitation, using data from 653 meteorological stations across all seven continents. We make these gridded global maps publicly available to support diverse stable-isotope applications.
We developed global maps that concisely quantify the seasonality of stable isotope ratios in...
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