Original Articles

The Prospect in the Research of Water Cycle at the Typical Catchments of North China Plain Using Environmental Isotopes

  • Institute of Geographical Sciences & Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing100101 China

Received date: 2002-08-01

  Revised date: 2002-10-01

  Online published: 2002-11-24


The water problems in North China plain are very serious, and they hinder the economic development. The reason is that the research of water cycle is not enough. Environmental isotopes have become integral components of hydrological research and applications. They routinely contribute to such investigations, complementing geochemistry and physical hydrology. The environmental isotopic technology is the most powerful tool for hydrological research. For instance, the stable isotopic composition of water is modified by meteoric processes and so the recharge waters in particular environment will have a characteristic isotopic signature. This signature then serves as a nature tracer for the provenance of waters; on other hand, radioisotopes decay provides us with a measure of circulation time, thus groundwater renewability. The source of vapor, which forms precipitation, the mechanism of rainfall and runoff at the slope, the relation among precipitation surface water soil water groundwater, groundwater quality evolution and recharge processes can be understood. In this paper, the stable isotopes (D and O 18) and the radioisotopes (T and C 14) are explained, and their basics, usages and some examples in Japan and China are also introduced. Lastly, the prospect in the research of water cycle at the typical catchments of North China Plain using environmental isotopes is described, including three parts: the system of "atmosphere soil vegetation"at small scale; rainfall and runoff at the slope; water cycle at catchment scale.

Cite this article

SONG Xian fang, XIA Jun, YU Jing jie, LIU Chang ming . The Prospect in the Research of Water Cycle at the Typical Catchments of North China Plain Using Environmental Isotopes[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2002 , 21(6) : 527 -537 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2002.06.002


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