Stable Isotope Studies of Rainfall and Stream Water in Forest Watersheds in Kampong Thom, Cambodia
Stable isotopes, such as deuterium (D) and oxygen-18 (18O), are widely used in hydrology as environmental tracers because they move with the water itself. Information obtained from stable isotope data can improve our understanding of the processes associated with the source of water and system dynamics and also provide quantitative estimates related to flow dynamics and transport parameters. In this chapter, stable isotope ratios (δD, δ18O) of rainfall and stream water were studied from 2003 in four forest watersheds in the Kampong Thom Province of Cambodia. The stable isotope ratios of rainfall during the dry season from November to April lined up below the local meteoric water line (LMWL), implying that rainfall during the dry season may be affected by secondary evaporation during its descent. When these data were discarded, the slope and the intercept of the LMWL were 7.95 and 9.11, respectively, and close to those of the global meteoric water line (GMWL). The volumetric weighted means of δD and δ18O values in rainfall were −6.7‰ and −43.9‰, respectively. During the period from January to March, when little rainfall occurred, the δD values of stream water were near the volumetric weighted mean of δD in the rainfall. During the period from April to December, when a considerable amount of rain fell, the temporal variation in δD in rainfall was less evident in stream water. The range of variation in the δD value of stream water differed among the watersheds, which may indicate that the residence time of stream water differs from watershed to watershed.
KeywordsStable Isotope Stream Water Stable Isotope Ratio Forest Watershed Local Meteoric Water Line
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