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Monitoring surface water vapour isotopic composition at Ny Alesund (ARCTISO)

The ARCTISO project aims at assessing the potential outcomes associated with continuous measurements of the precipitation and surface water vapour isotopic composition at Ny Alesund (Svalbard). The isotopic composition of water vapour reflects the history of air mass trajectories, in relationship with evaporation conditions (moisture source areas)

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Project date

Starts
2014-01-01

Ends
2018-12-31

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Project type

  • field work

Discipline

  • atmosphere

Project Keywords

  • atmosphere / atmospheric chemistry / hydrogen compounds

Fieldwork information

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Type Period From To Coordinates Station Location
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Summary

The ARCTISO project aims at assessing the potential outcomes associated with continuous measurements of the precipitation and surface water vapour isotopic composition at Ny Alesund (Svalbard). The isotopic composition of water vapour reflects the history of air mass trajectories, in relationship with evaporation conditions (moisture source areas) and distillation along atmospheric transport, itself affected by cloud microphysical processes. Several recent studies (Greenland, Siberia) have suggested a specific isotopic fingerprint (high deuterium excess) of water vapour formed at the Arctic sea ice margin. This fingerprint seems poorly simulated in atmospheric general circulation models. A better understanding of these processes is critical for paleoclimate reconstructions (e.g. from ice cores) and to quantify the fraction of local moisture versus the long distance moisture in the increase of feedbacks associated with the Arctic water cycle. Through its geographical position, Svalbard gives access to Arctic air masses where this fingerprint will be investigated by combining in situ continuous data with atmospheric circulation calculations. This pre-survey aims to deploy an instrument at Ny Alesund during 6 months, and sample the precipitation, in order to assess the potential of this site in the overall aim of establishing an international project coordinating the monitoring of water stable isotopes in the Arctic vapour and precipitation.

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