Publication details.


Author(s):S. Valdivielso, A. Hassanzadeh, E. Vázquez-Suñé, E. Custodio, R. Criollo
Title:Spatial distribution of meteorological factors controlling stable isotopes in precipitation in Northern Chile
Abstract:© 2021 Elsevier B.V.A knowledge of the evolution of isotopic composition of air masses humidity and precipitation in the Western Cordilleras of the Central Andes is still incomplete. This study contributes to a better understanding of the factors that control the δ18O and δ2H contents in precipitation water in the north of Chile, above 2000 m a.s.l. This paper deals with: (1) the relevant effects and processes that control the spatial (longitude, latitude and altitude) distribution of stable isotope contents of precipitation events in northern Chile, (2) the influence of local meteorological variables: temperature, precipitation and relative humidity on the δ18O and δ2H of precipitation, and (3) the estimation of these meteorological and isotopic variables at specific sites. To achieve these objectives, the relationships between geospatial and meteorological values are identified and analysed, followed by the estimation with empirical models. These estimation models (linear and non-linear) are obtained after examining, validating and calibrating techniques to find the best fit. This results in models for temperature, relative humidity and precipitation for each month of the year. In the same way, three isotopic models are derived from the spatial and meteorological variables (summer, winter and annual). Temperature has been shown to be controlled to a greater extent by altitude and latitude, while relative humidity is by latitude and precipitation in summer is by altitude and latitude. Monthly meteorological variables have been estimated throughout the study area. Precipitation δ18O and δ2H are controlled mainly by temperature and altitude and to a lesser extent by latitude, longitude and precipitation. In the same way, three isotopic models are derived from the spatial and meteorological variables: summer, winter and annual. This opens a new perspective of precipitation and its isotopic contents, but also allows the calculation of runoff and aquifer recharge and the path for linking future precipitation and aquifer recharge through their isotopic composition.

Related staff

  • Rotman Alejandro Criollo manjarrez
  • Related departments

  • Oceanography and Global Change