Journal of Geographical Sciences

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 438–446 | Cite as

Oxygen-18 in different waters in Urumqi River Basin

  • Zhang XinpingEmail author
  • Yao Tandong
  • Liu Jingmiao
Ecological Environment


The variations of the stable oxygen isotope in different water mediums in Urumqi River Basin, China, are analyzed. The stable oxygen isotope in precipitation has marked temperature effect either under synoptic or seasonal scale at the head of Urumqi River. The linear regression equations of δ18O against temperature are δ18O=0.94T-12.38 and δ18O=1.29T-13.05 under the two time scales, respectively. The relatively large δ18O/temperature slopes show the strong sensitivity of δ18O in precipitation to temperature variation at the head of Urumqi River. According to the analyses on the δ18O in precipitation sampled at three stations with different altitudes along Urumqi River, altitude effect is notable in the drainage basin. The δ18O/altitude gradients have distinct differences: the gradient from Urumqi to Yuejinqiao is merely -0.054‰/hm, but -0.192‰/hm from Yuejinqiao to Daxigou, almost increasing by 2.6 times over the former. No altitude effect is found in surface firn in the east branch of Glacier No.1 at the head of Urumqi River, showing that precipitation in the glacier is from the cloud cluster with the same condensation level. Influenced by strong ablation and evaporation, the δ18O in surface firn increases with increasing altitude sometimes. Survey has found that the δ18O in meltwater at the terminus of Glacier No.l and in stream water at Total Control have the similar change trend with the former all smaller than the latter, which displays the different runoff recharges, and all mirror the regime of temperature in the same term basically.

Key words

stable oxygen isotope temperature effect altitude effect 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentHunan Normal UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, CASLanzhouChina
  3. 3.Chinese Academy of Meteorology SciencesBeijingChina

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