Journal of Geographical Sciences ›› 2007, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (3): 317-326.doi: 10.1007/s11442-007-0317-1

• Climate and Environmental Change • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Temporal and spatial variations of δ18O in precipitation of the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin

LIU Zhongfang1, TIAN Lide1,2, YAO Tandong1,2, GONG Tongliang3, YIN Changliang2, YU Wusheng1   

  1. 1. Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, CAS, Beijing 100085, China|
    2. Key Laboratory of Cryosphere and Environment, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CAS, Lanzhou 730000, China|
    3. Institute of Tibetan Water Resource Reconnaissance and Designing, Lhasa 850000, China
  • Received:2007-03-28 Revised:2007-04-30 Online:2007-09-25 Published:2007-09-25
  • Supported by:

    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40121101; No.40671043; No.40571039; National Basic Research Program of China, No.2005CB422002; Knowledge Innovation Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.KZCX3- SW-339


This paper reveals the temporal and spatial variations of stable isotope in precipita-tion of the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin based on the variations of δ18O in precipitation at four stations (Lhaze, Nugesha, Yangcun and Nuxia) in 2005. The results show that δ18O of pre-cipitation has distinct seasonal changes in the Yarlung Zangbo River Basin. The higher value of δ18O occurs in spring prior to monsoon precipitation, and the lower value occurs during monsoon precipitation. From the spatial variations, with the altitude-effect and rainout process during moisture transport along the Yarlung Zangbo River Valley, 18O of precipitation is gradually depleted. Thus, δ18O of precipitation decreases gradually from the downstream to the upstream, and the lapse rate of δ18O in precipitation is approximately 0.34‰/100m and 0.7‰/100km for the two reasons. During monsoon precipitation, spatial variation of δ18O in precipitation is dominated by the amount effect in the large scale synoptic condition.

Key words: Yarlung Zangbo River Basin, δ18O, precipitation, temporal and spatial variations