Vol15 No.5: 1035-1045
【Title】Diurnal and seasonal variation of glacier meltwater hydrochemistry in Qiyi glacierized catchmentin Qilian Mountains, Northwest China: implication for chemical weathering
【Addresses】State Key Laboratory of Cryospheric Science, Northwest Institute of Eco-Environment and Resources, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China
【Corresponding author】WU Xiao-bo
【Citation】Wu XB (2018) Diurnal and seasonal variation of glacier meltwater hydrochemistry in Qiyi glacierized catchment in Qilian Mountains, Northwest China: implication for chemical weathering. Journal of Mountain Science 15(5). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-017-4695-2
【Abstract】In glacierized catchments, glacier runoff typically shows a strong diurnal cycle in the ablation season (June-September). To elucidate the effect of these processes on the chemical weathering, fresh snowfall and water samples were collected and studied from the supraglacial river, proglacial river, and gauging site in Qiyi glacierized catchment Qilian Mountains, Northwestern China, in the summer of 2011. The pH and electronic conductivity (EC) were determined in the field, and the concentrations of major ions (Na+, K+, Mg2+, Ca2+, Cl-, SO42-, NO3-) were measured. The results indicated that EC linearly increased with increasing distance from the glacial snout, and the concentrations of major ions increased with increasing water-rock interaction time. Along the flow path of the glacier runoff, Na+ and Cl- are more concentrated than other ions in the supraglacial river while Mg2+ and SO42- are more concentrated than other ions at the gauging site.The discharge, pH, EC, and the concentrations of major ions exhibited significant diurnal variation along the flow path. On the other hand, the amplitude of variation diminished from upstream to downstream along the flow path. The chemical weathering rate (Na++K++Mg2++Ca2+) was determined to be 10.9t/yr/km2. Moreover, further research indicated that the sampling method influenced the assessment of chemical weathering rates. When the sample was collected randomly in one diurnal cycle of hydrography, the estimated ionic flux could deviate -47%~73%based on estimated hourly data. In contrast, if three samples were collected at peak, base flow and the discharge decreasing rate starts to slow down in one diurnal cycle of hydrography, respectively, the deviation would be less than 15%. The smaller the diurnal variation of discharge, the smaller deviation calculated.
【Keywords】Diurnal variation; Hydrochemistry; Chemical weathering rate