Evaluation of lacustrine groundwater discharge, hydrologic partitioning, and nutrient budgets in a proglacial lake in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau: using <sup>222</sup>Rn and stable isotopes

  • Li H
  • Liang S
  • Kuang X
  • et al.
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Abstract

<p><strong>Abstract.</strong> Proglacial lakes are good natural laboratories to investigate groundwater and glacier dynamics under current climate conditions and to explore biogeochemical cycling under pristine lake status. This study conducted a series of investigations of <span class="inline-formula"><sup>222</sup></span>Rn, stable isotopes, nutrients, and other hydrogeochemical parameters in Ximen Co Lake, a remote proglacial lake in the east of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau (QTP). A radon mass balance model was used to quantify the lacustrine groundwater discharge (LGD) of the lake, leading to an LGD estimate of <span class="inline-formula">10.3±8.2</span><span class="thinspace"></span>mm<span class="thinspace"></span>d<span class="inline-formula"><sup>−1</sup></span>. Based on the three-endmember models of stable <span class="inline-formula"><sup>18</sup>O</span> and <span class="inline-formula">Cl<sup>−</sup></span>, the hydrologic partitioning of the lake is obtained, which shows that groundwater discharge only accounts for 7.0<span class="thinspace"></span>% of the total water input. The groundwater-derived DIN and DIP loadings constitute 42.9<span class="thinspace"></span>% and 5.5<span class="thinspace"></span>% of the total nutrient loading to the lakes, indicating the significance of LGD in delivering disproportionate DIN into the lake. This study presents the first attempt to evaluate the LGD and hydrologic partitioning in the glacial lake by coupling radioactive and stable isotopic approaches and the findings advance the understanding of nutrient budgets in the proglacial lakes of the QTP. The study is also instructional in revealing the hydrogeochemical processes in proglacial lakes elsewhere.</p>

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Li, H., Liang, S., Kuang, X., Luo, X., Mao, R., Zhang, X., & Jiao, J. J. (2018). Evaluation of lacustrine groundwater discharge, hydrologic partitioning, and nutrient budgets in a proglacial lake in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau: using &lt;sup&gt;222&lt;/sup&gt;Rn and stable isotopes. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 22(10), 5579–5598. https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-5579-2018

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