Precipitation isoscape of high reliefs: interpolation scheme designed and tested for monthly resolved precipitation oxygen isotope records of an Alpine domain

Kern, Zoltan; Kohán, B.; Leuenberger, Markus (2014). Precipitation isoscape of high reliefs: interpolation scheme designed and tested for monthly resolved precipitation oxygen isotope records of an Alpine domain. Atmospheric chemistry and physics, 14(4), pp. 1897-1907. European Geosciences Union 10.5194/acp-14-1897-2014

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Stable oxygen isotope composition of atmospheric precipitation (δ18Op) was scrutinized from 39 stations distributed over Switzerland and its border zone. Monthly amount-weighted δ18Op values averaged over the 1995–2000 period showed the expected strong linear altitude dependence (−0.15 to −0.22‰ per 100 m) only during the summer season (May–September). Steeper gradients (~ −0.56 to −0.60‰ per 100 m) were observed for winter months over a low elevation belt, while hardly any altitudinal difference was seen for high elevation stations. This dichotomous pattern could be explained by the characteristically shallower vertical atmospheric mixing height during winter season and provides empirical evidence for recently simulated effects of stratified atmospheric flow on orographic precipitation isotopic ratios. This helps explain "anomalous" deflected altitudinal water isotope profiles reported from many other high relief regions. Grids and isotope distribution maps of the monthly δ18Op have been calculated over the study region for 1995–1996. The adopted interpolation method took into account both the variable mixing heights and the seasonal difference in the isotopic lapse rate and combined them with residual kriging. The presented data set allows a point estimation of δ18Op with monthly resolution. According to the test calculations executed on subsets, this biannual data set can be extended back to 1992 with maintained fidelity and, with a reduced station subset, even back to 1983 at the expense of faded reliability of the derived δ18Op estimates, mainly in the eastern part of Switzerland. Before 1983, reliable results can only be expected for the Swiss Plateau since important stations representing eastern and south-western Switzerland were not yet in operation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Climate and Environmental Physics
10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)

UniBE Contributor:

Kern, Zoltan and Leuenberger, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 530 Physics

ISSN:

1680-7316

Publisher:

European Geosciences Union

Language:

English

Submitter:

Doris Rätz

Date Deposited:

29 Sep 2014 15:31

Last Modified:

17 Jun 2015 08:26

Publisher DOI:

10.5194/acp-14-1897-2014

Web of Science ID:

000332386100009

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.57887

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/57887

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