The Formation and Balance of the Atmospheric Precipitations, Surface Water, and Groundwater on the Southern Slopes of the Khibiny Massif (Based on Data on the Isotopic Composition of Oxygen and Hydrogen)


The δ2H and δ18O values of the atmospheric precipitations in the Khibins vary within the range –147 ≤ δ2H ≤ –37‰, –20 ≤ δ18О ≤ –4‰ and are close to the global line of the precipitations for the northern hemisphere; the light values (with a positive deuterium excess) are typical of snow, while the heavy values are typical of rains. The data on the isotopic composition of water in open water bodies and groundwaters suggest their formation from the precipitations. Their flow (and subsurface migration) is accompanied by mixing of snowmelt and rain water; the efficiency of mixing can be evaluated by a decrease in the variation range of the values of δ2H and δ18О. According to isotopic data, the water of Lake Imandra, the major water body in the region, has formed through mixing of snowmelt and rain water in a proportion close to 1 : 1.

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The authors are grateful to O.E. Dubinina (IGEM RAS) for cooperation in the work and the reviewer and the editorial board of the journal for very useful remarks.


The study was supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project no. 18-05-70 004, the Resources of the Arctic.

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Correspondence to I. V. Tokarev or I. N. Tolstikhin.

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Gudkov, A.V., Tokarev, I.V. & Tolstikhin, I.N. The Formation and Balance of the Atmospheric Precipitations, Surface Water, and Groundwater on the Southern Slopes of the Khibiny Massif (Based on Data on the Isotopic Composition of Oxygen and Hydrogen). Water Resour 48, 124–132 (2021).

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  • precipitation
  • rivers
  • groundwater
  • isotopes
  • hydrogen
  • oxygen
  • the Khibins