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Journal article

Continuous monitoring of summer surface water vapor isotopic composition above the Greenland Ice Sheet

Steen-Larsen H, Johnsen S, Masson-Delmotte V, Stenni B, Risi C, Sodemann H, Balslev-Clausen D, Blunier T, Dahl-Jensen D, Ellehøj M, Falourd S, Grindsted A, Gkinis V, Jouzel J, Popp T, Sheldon S, Simonsen S, Sjolte J, Steffensen J, Sperlich P, Sveinbjörnsdóttir A, Vinther B, White J ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 13, issue 9 (2013) pp. 4815-4828

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Abstract

We present here surface water vapor isotopic measurements conducted from
June to August 2010 at the NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Drilling
Project) camp, NW Greenland (77.45 degrees N, 51.05 degrees W, 2484 m
a.s.l.). Measurements were conducted at 9 different heights from 0.1m to
13.5m above the snow surface using two different types of
cavity-enhanced near-infrared absorption spectroscopy analyzers. For
each instrument specific protocols were developed for calibration and
drift corrections. The inter-comparison of corrected results from
different instruments reveals excellent reproducibility, stability, and
precision with a standard deviations of similar to 0.23 parts per
thousand for delta O-18 and similar to 1.4 parts per thousand for delta
D. Diurnal and intraseasonal variations show strong relationships
between changes in local surface humidity and water vapor isotopic
composition, and with local and synoptic weather conditions. This
variability probably results from the interplay between local moisture
fluxes, linked with firn-air exchanges, boundary layer dynamics, and
large-scale moisture advection. Particularly remarkable are several
episodes characterized by high (> 40 parts per thousand) surface water
vapor deuterium excess. Air mass back-trajectory calculations from
atmospheric analyses and water tagging in the LMDZiso (Laboratory of
Meteorology Dynamics Zoom-isotopic) atmospheric model reveal that these
events are associated with predominant Arctic air mass origin. The
analysis suggests that high deuterium excess levels are a result of
strong kinetic fractionation during evaporation at the sea-ice margin.

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