Triple oxygen isotope systematics of evaporation and mixing processes in a dynamic desert lake system

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Title:Main Title: Triple oxygen isotope systematics of evaporation and mixing processes in a dynamic desert lake system
Description:Abstract: This study investigates the combined hydrogen-deuterium and triple oxygen isotope hydrology of the Salar del Huasco, an endorheic salt flat with shallow lakes at its centre that is located on the Altiplano Plateau, N Chile. This lacustrine system is hydrologically dynamic and complex because it receives inflow from multiple surface and groundwater sources. It undergoes seasonal flooding, followed by rapid shrinking of the water body at the prevailing arid climate with very high evaporation rates. At any given point in time, ponds, lakes, and recharge sources capture a large range of evaporation degrees. Samples taken between 2017 and 2019 show a range of δ18O between 13.3 and 14.5 ‰, d excess between 7 and 100 ‰, and 17O excess between 19 and 108 per meg. A pan evaporation experiment conducted on-site was used to derive the turbulence coefficient of the Craig-Gordon isotope evaporation model for the local wind regime. This, along with sampling of atmospheric vapour at the salar ( 21.0 ± 3.3 ‰ for δ18O, 34 ± 6 ‰ for d excess and 23 ± 9 per meg for 17O excess) enabled the accurate reproduction of measured ponds and lake isotope data by the Craig-Gordon model. In contrast to classic δ2H δ18O studies, the 17O excess data not only allow to distinguish two different types of evaporation – evaporation with and without recharge – but also to identify mixing processes between evaporated lake water and fresh flood water. Multiple generations of infiltration events can also be inferred from the triple oxygen isotope composition of inflow water, indicating mixing of sources with different evaporation histories. These processes cannot be resolved using classic δ2H-δ18O data alone. Adding triple oxygen isotope measurements to isotope hydrology studies may therefore significantly improve the accuracy of a lake’s hydrological balance – i.e. the evaporation-to-inflow ratio (E/I) – estimated by water isotope data and application of the Craig-Gordon isotope evaporation model.
Identifier: (DOI)
Responsible Party
Creators:Claudia Voigt (Author), Daniel Herwartz (Author), Cristina Dorador (Author), Michael Staubwasser (Author)
Funding Reference:Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG): CRC 1211: Earth - Evolution at the Dry Limit
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Publication Year:2021
CRC1211 Topic:Climate
Related Subproject:D3
Subjects:Keywords: Stable Isotope Geochemistry, Paleoclimate Proxies
Geogr. Information Topic:Environment
File Details
Data Type:Text - Article
File Size:7.4 MB
Date:Accepted: 03.02.2021
Mime Type:application/pdf
Data Format:PDF
Download Permission:Only Project Members
General Access and Use Conditions:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Access Limitations:According to the CRC1211DB data policy agreement.
Licence:[Creative Commons] Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Specific Information - Publication
Publication Status:Published
Review Status:Peer reviewed
Publication Type:Article
Article Type:Journal
Source:Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Source Website:
Number of Pages:18 (1211 - 1228)
Metadata Details
Metadata Creator:Claudia Voigt
Metadata Created:10.07.2021
Metadata Last Updated:10.07.2021
Funding Phase:1
Metadata Language:English
Metadata Version:V50
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