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Combined measurements of 17Oexcess and d-excess in African monsoon precipitation: Implications for evaluating convective parameterizations

Abstract : Water stable isotopes (δ18O, δD) are useful tools to depict and to understand the atmospheric water cycle. In tropical regions, they record the variations of convective activity and their implementation in convection schemes brings constraints on our understanding and parameterization of this phenomena. Here, we present for the first time measurements of a new isotopic marker of the hydrological cycle (17Oexcess resulting from the combination of δ17O and δ18O of water) in convective regions on two different time scales: (i) during the African monsoon onset and intra-seasonal variability (Banizoumbou, 2006) and (ii) during the squall line of the 11th of August 2006 (Niamey). 17Oexcess responds to the monsoon onset by a ~ 30 per meg increase as well as to different convective processes in squall lines by ~ 20 per meg variations. These variations parallel those of d-excess at first order and display significant correlation with relative humidity in the lower troposphere. Still, higher correlation coefficients are observed between d-excess and relative humidity than between 17Oexcess and relative humidity, suggesting a higher influence of relative humidity on d-excess than on 17Oexcess. Using a simple reevaporation model and a more sophisticated 2D model of a squall line, we show that reevaporation is the process explaining the increase of d-excess and 17Oexcess with relative humidity for these two studies. We also show that the combination of 17Oexcess and d-excess is a powerful tool to constrain the representation of isotopic processes during rain reevaporation. In turn, a good representation of such processes enables to use water isotopes to evaluate convective parameterization in atmospheric models.
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Submitted on : Friday, June 14, 2019 - 6:33:31 AM
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Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution - NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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A. Landais, C. Risi, S. Bony, F. Vimeux, Luc Descroix, et al.. Combined measurements of 17Oexcess and d-excess in African monsoon precipitation: Implications for evaluating convective parameterizations. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 2010, 298 (1-2), pp.104-112. ⟨10.1016/j.epsl.2010.07.033⟩. ⟨ird-02153337⟩

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