Transformation of ENSO‐related rainwater to dripwater δ18O variability by vadose water mixing

Jessica W, Moerman and Kim M, Cobb and Judson W, Partin and A Nele, Meckler and Stacy A, Carolin and Jess F, Adkins and Syria, Lejau and Jenny, Malang and Brian, Clark and Andrew Alek, Tuen (2014) Transformation of ENSO‐related rainwater to dripwater δ18O variability by vadose water mixing. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (22). pp. 7907-7915. ISSN 1944-8007

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Speleothem oxygen isotopes (δ18O) are often used to reconstruct past rainfall δ18O variability, and thereby hydroclimate changes, in many regions of the world. However, poor constraints on the karst hydrological processes that transform rainfall signals into cave dripwater add significant uncertainty to interpretations of speleothem-based reconstructions. Here we present several 6.5 year, biweekly dripwater δ18O time series from northern Borneo and compare them to local rainfall δ18O variability. We demonstrate that vadose water mixing is the primary rainfall-to-dripwater transformation process at our site, where dripwater δ18O reflects amount-weighted rainfall δ18O integrated over the previous 3–10 months. We document large interannual dripwater δ18O variability related to the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with amplitudes inversely correlated to dripwater residence times. According to a simple stalagmite forward model, asymmetrical ENSO extremes produce significant offsets in stalagmite δ18O time series given different dripwater residence times. Our study highlights the utility of generating multiyear, paired time series of rainfall and dripwater δ18O to aid interpretations of stalagmite δ18O reconstructions.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: water isotopes , cave dripwater , karst hydrology , forward modeling , unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, kuching, samarahan, ipta, education, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2015 08:11
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2015 08:11

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