A Study on isotopic fractionation between ice and meltwater by a melting experiment

Jeonghoon Lee, Ji Young Ham, Soon Do Hur

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1 Scopus citations


Isotopic compositions of ice and meltwater play a very crucial role in paleoclimate studies based on ice cores and water resources research conducted in alpine hydrogeology. Better understanding of variations in the stable isotopic compositions of water is required since changes from ice to liquid water are gaining more attention due to recent climate change. In this work, a melting experiment was designed and conducted to investigate how the isotopic compositions of ice vary with time by heat sources, such as solar radiation. We conducted the melting experiment for 22 hours. The discharge rate rose to a maximum value after 258 minutes and gradually declined because we fixed the heat source. The isotopic compositions of meltwater increased linearly or to a second degree polynomial. The linear relationship between oxygen and hydrogen has a slope of 6.8, which is less than that of the Global Meteoric Water Line (8) and higher than a theoretical value (6.3). The deuterium excess decreased when δD or δ18O increases or vise versa since the slope of the relationship for ice-liquid exchange is less than 8. These findings and the apparatus of the melting experiments will make a helpful contribution to the studies of stable isotopes and the melting process in temperate and polar regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-332
Number of pages6
JournalOcean and Polar Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute. All rights reserved.


  • Melt
  • Mountain hydrology
  • Paleocliamte
  • Stable isotopes


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