Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2023-174
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2023-174
20 Jul 2023
 | 20 Jul 2023
Status: a revised version of this preprint was accepted for the journal HESS and is expected to appear here in due course.

Seasonal variation and influence factors of river water isotopes in the East Asian monsoon region: A case study in Xiangjiang River basin spanning 13 hydrological years

Xiong Xiao, Xinping Zhang, Zhuoyong Xiao, Zhiguo Rao, Xinguang He, and Cicheng Zhang

Abstract. Seasonal variation and influencing factors of water isotopes were investigated in the Xiangjiang River basin, located in the East Asian monsoon region. This involved comprehensive sampling of precipitation and river water, as well as observing hydrometeorological factors spanning 13 hydrological years from January 2010 to December 2022. Key findings are as follows: River water δ2H (δ2HR) exhibited significant seasonal variation, with the most positive and negative δ2HR occurring in the spring flood period and summer drought, respectively, and generally aligned with those observed in precipitation. The correlations of the δ2HR with the corresponding hydrometeorological factors were generally weak and the reasons can be attributed to the seasonality of precipitation isotopes and mixing of various water bodies within the basin, but the changes in the runoff (ΔR) and δ2HR (Δδ2HR) between two contiguous samplings showed significant responses to the corresponding accumulated precipitation and evaporation. These results underscore the potential of Δδ2HR as a variable that reflects the seasonal variations in local environments, valuable for paleoclimate reconstruction. Prolonged rainless intervals with high evaporation rates in 2013 and 2022, as well as significant precipitation events in major flood periods in 2011 and 2017, notably had a significant impact on the δ2HR and runoff discharge. The most positive δ2HR values were primarily influenced by the precipitation input with the most enriched isotopes in the spring flood period, while the moderately isotope-depleted precipitation during limited basin wetness conditions led to the most negative δ2HR, thus caution is advised when interpreting extreme isotopic signals in river water. The spatial correlation analysis between water isotopes and hydrometeorological factors at the observing site and in the surrounding regions supported the representation of the Changsha site in the Xiangjiang River basin. Overall, these findings provide insights into the seasonal variation and influencing factors of δ2HR in the study area, shedding light on the complex dynamics of river water isotopes under different hydrometeorological conditions.

Xiong Xiao et al.

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2023-174', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Jul 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Xinping Zhang, 29 Aug 2023
      • RC3: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 31 Aug 2023
        • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Xinping Zhang, 16 Sep 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2023-174', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Aug 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Xinping Zhang, 29 Aug 2023
      • RC4: 'Reply on AC2', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Sep 2023
        • AC3: 'Reply on RC4', Xinping Zhang, 16 Sep 2023

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on hess-2023-174', Anonymous Referee #1, 27 Jul 2023
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Xinping Zhang, 29 Aug 2023
      • RC3: 'Reply on AC1', Anonymous Referee #1, 31 Aug 2023
        • AC4: 'Reply on RC3', Xinping Zhang, 16 Sep 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on hess-2023-174', Anonymous Referee #2, 20 Aug 2023
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Xinping Zhang, 29 Aug 2023
      • RC4: 'Reply on AC2', Anonymous Referee #2, 05 Sep 2023
        • AC3: 'Reply on RC4', Xinping Zhang, 16 Sep 2023

Xiong Xiao et al.

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Short summary
For the aim to improve the understanding of seasonal variations in water stable isotopes and catchment hydrological processes, we compared the temporal variations of precipitation and river water isotopes with the hydrometeorological factors in the Xiangjiang River over 13 years. Results showed that the changes in river water isotopes can be a variable that reflects the seasonal variations in local environments and the extreme events, and may provide implications for paleoclimate reconstruction.