Reliability and quality of water isotope data collected with a lowbudget rain collector

Prechsl, Ulrich E.; Gilgen, Anna Katarina; Kahmen, Ansgar; Buchmann, Nina (2014). Reliability and quality of water isotope data collected with a lowbudget rain collector. Rapid communications in mass spectrometry, 28(8), pp. 879-885. Wiley 10.1002/rcm.6852

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RATIONALELow-budget rain collectors for water isotope analysis, such as the `ball-in-funnel type collector' (BiFC), are widely used in studies on stable water isotopes of rain. To date, however, an experimental quality assessment of such devices in relation to climatic factors does not exist. METHODSWe used Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometry (CRDS) to quantify the effects of evaporation on the O-18 values of reference water under controlled conditions as a function of the elapsed time between rainfall and collection for isotope analysis, the sample volume and the relative humidity (RH: 31% and 67%; 25 degrees C). The climate chamber conditions were chosen to reflect the warm and dry end of field conditions that favor evaporative enrichment (EE). We also tested the performance of the BiFC in the field, and compared our H-2/O-18 data obtained by isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) with those from the Swiss National Network for the Observation of Isotopes in the Water Cycle (ISOT). RESULTSThe EE increased with time, with a 1 increase in the O-18 values after 10days (RH: 25%; 25 degrees C; 35mL (corresponding to a 5mm rain event); p <0.001). The sample volume strongly affected the EE (max. value +1.5 parts per thousand for 7mL samples (i.e., 1mm rain events) after 72h at 31% and 67% RH; p <0.001), whereas the relative humidity had no significant effect. Using the BiFC in the field, we obtained very tight relationships of the H-2/O-18 values (r(2) 0.95) for three sites along an elevational gradient, not significantly different from that of the next ISOT station. CONCLUSIONSSince the chosen experimental conditions were extreme compared with the field conditions, it was concluded that the BiFC is a highly reliable and inexpensive collector of rainwater for isotope analysis. Copyright (c) 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant nutrition (discontinued)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Gilgen, Anna Katarina and Buchmann, Nina

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)
500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)
500 Science > 540 Chemistry

ISSN:

0951-4198

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

30 Apr 2014 11:57

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2015 11:45

Publisher DOI:

10.1002/rcm.6852

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.51826

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/51826

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