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

Luo, Xin; Kuang, Xingxing; Jiao, Jiu Jimmy; Liang, Sihai; Mao, Rong; Zhang, Xiaolang; Li, Hailong

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 inline-formula222Rn, 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 inline-formula10.3±8.2 mm dinline-formula−1. Based on the three-endmember models of stable inline-formula18O and inline-formulaCl, the hydrologic partitioning of the lake is obtained, which shows that groundwater discharge only accounts for 7.0 % of the total water input. The groundwater-derived DIN and DIP loadings constitute 42.9 % and 5.5 % 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.

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Luo, Xin / Kuang, Xingxing / Jiao, Jiu Jimmy / et al: Evaluation of lacustrine groundwater discharge, hydrologic partitioning, and nutrient budgets in a proglacial lake in the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau: using 222Rn and stable isotopes. 2018. Copernicus Publications.

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