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© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  08 Sep 2020

08 Sep 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Spatial variability of northern Iberian rainfall stable isotope values: Investigating climatic controls on daily and monthly timescales

Ana Moreno1, Miguel Iglesias2, Cesar Azorin-Molina3, Carlos Pérez-Mejías4,1, Miguel Bartolomé5,6, Carlos Sancho, Heather Stoll7, Isabel Cacho8, Jaime Frigola8, Cinta Osácar5, Arsenio Muñoz5, Antonio Delgado-Huertas9, Ileana Blade10, and Françoise Vimeux11,12 Ana Moreno et al.
  • 1Department of Geoenvironmental Processes and Global Change, Pyrenean Institute of Ecology – CSIC, Avda. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain
  • 2Department of Geology, University of Oviedo, C/Arias de Velasco, s/nº 33005 Oviedo, Spain
  • 3Centro de Investigaciones sobre Desertificación, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CIDE-CSIC), Moncada 46113, Valencia, Spain
  • 4Institute of Global Environmental Change, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, 710049, China
  • 5Earth Sciences Department, University of Zaragoza, C/Pedro Cerbuna 12, 50009 Zaragoza, Spain
  • 6Departamento de Geología. Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales – CSIC, C/José Gutiérrez Abascal 2, 28006, Madrid, Spain
  • 7Geological Institute, NO G59, Department of Earth Sciences, Sonneggstrasse 5, ETH, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland
  • 8CRG Marine Geosciences, Department de Dinàmica de la Terra i l’Oceà, Facultat de Ciències de la Terra, Universitat de Barcelona, C/Martí i Franqués, s/nº, 08028 Barcelona, Spain
  • 9Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry Laboratory, IACT-CSIC, Avda. de Las Palmeras nº 4, 18100, Armilla (Granada), Spain
  • 10Group of Meteorology, Department of Applied Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Barcelona, Martí i Franqués, 1, 2008028 Barcelona, Spain
  • 11HydroSciencesMontpellier (HSM), UMR 5569 (UM, CNRS, IRD), 34095 Montpellier, France
  • 12Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL), Laboratoire des Sciences de Climat et de l'Environnement (LSCE), UMR 8212 (CEA, CNRS, UVSQ), 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette, France
  • deceased, February 2019

Abstract. This article presents for the first time a large dataset of rainfall isotopic measurements (d18Op and d2Hp) sampled every day or every two days from seven sites in a west-to-east transect across northern Spain for 2010–2017. The main aim of this study is to: (1) characterize rainfall isotopic variability in northern Spain at daily and monthly time scales, and (2) assess the principal influencing factors determining rainfall isotopic variability. This comprehensive spatio-temporal approach allows exploring the role of air mass source in determining the isotopic composition of rainfall in northern Iberia by using back-trajectories; Atlantic fronts are found to be the dominant source of northern Iberia rain events studied. The relative role of air temperature and rainfall amount in determining the stable isotope composition of precipitation changes along the west-to-east transect. Air temperature appears to be the most significant influence on d18Op at daily and monthly time scales with the highest air temperature-d18Op dependency found for the Pyrenean station while a few sites in the transect show a significant negative correlation with precipitation amount. Distance from the coast, site elevation, and moisture source region (Atlantic versus Mediterranean) also significantly modulate the d18Op values and ranges but the type of precipitation (convective vs frontal rainfall) plays a key control, with convective rainfall associated with higher d18Op values. This dataset of the rainfall isotopic composition represents another step forward towards developing a more detailed, mechanistic framework for interpreting stable isotopes in rainfall as a palaeoclimate and hydrological tracer.

Ana Moreno et al.

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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
This study presents a large and unique dataset of the rainfall isotopic composition in seven sites from northern Iberia to characterize their variability at daily and monthly time scales and to assess the role of climate and geographic factors on the modulation of d18O values and ranges. We found that the type of precipitation (convective vs frontal rainfall) plays a key control. These results will help to improve the interpretation of d18O paleorecords from lacustrine carbonates or speleothems.
This study presents a large and unique dataset of the rainfall isotopic composition in seven...