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Precipitation isotopes in the Tianshan Mountains as a key to water cycle in arid central Asia
Received:December 11, 2017    Click here to download the full text
Citation of this paper:MingJun Zhang,ShengJie Wang,2018.Precipitation isotopes in the Tianshan Mountains as a key to water cycle in arid central Asia.Sciences in Cold and Arid Regions,(1):27~37.
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Author NameAffiliationE-mail
MingJun Zhang College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730070, China  
ShengJie Wang College of Geography and Environmental Science, Northwest Normal University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730070, China;State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Sciences, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China geowang@126.com 
 
Abstract:The Tianshan Mountains is a wet island in arid central Asia, and precipitation amount across the mountains is much larger than that in the surrounding low-lying areas. To investigate the regional water cycle in arid central Asia, stable isotope composition in precipitation has received increased attention during the past decades. This paper reviewed current knowledge of observed and simulated stable isotope ratios in precipitation across the Tianshan Mountains. The temperature effect of stable isotopes in precipitation has been widely accepted in arid central Asia and can be applied to paleoclimate reconstruction using ice cores. The seasonality of precipitation isotopically enriched in summer months and depleted in winter months is usually attributed to westerly-dominated moisture, but different trajectory paths to the northern and southern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains can still be modelled. The proportional contribution and its uncertainty of surface evaporation and transpiration to local precipitation can be estimated using the isotope approach, and transpiration plays a dominant role in recycled moisture for oasis sites. The impact of below-cloud evaporation on precipitation stable isotopes on the southern slope is usually larger than that on the northern slope.
keywords:stable isotopes  precipitation  water cycle  Tianshan Mountains  central Asia
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