Stable Isotope Composition of Precipitation from 2015-2016 Central Texas Rainfall Events
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The Southern Great Plains is a critical area of study due to its climatic variability and resulting socio-economic importance. Little is known about the paleoclimate of the region, particularly hydrologic changes. Paleoclimate proxies, such as speleothems from central Texas caves, record oxygen isotope ratios (δ18O) as a proxy for rainfall amounts. It is therefore important to know through what meteorological conditions the present day precipitation obtains its oxygen isotopic signature. Linking oxygen isotopic composition with such proxies to changes in meteorological conditions allows past hydroclimate events, like drought and pluvial occurrences, to be placed within the context of global past and future climate variability. Here I propose to analyze oxygen isotopic composition from daily precipitation samples collected from Austin, Texas, from April 2015 to June 2016, and assess potential controls such as storm type, temperature, and precipitation amount. My project will contribute to improving interpretation of paleoclimate oxygen isotope records from Central Texas and southern Great Plains region.
Mcchesney, Celia L (2017). Stable Isotope Composition of Precipitation from 2015-2016 Central Texas Rainfall Events. Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. Available electronically from