Date of Award
Master of Science
Geological and Environmental Sciences
Dr. R.V. Krishnamurthy
Dr. Duane R. Hampton
Dr. Alan Kehew
Isotope, snow, ice, precipitation, atmosphere
Masters Thesis-Open Access
Understanding the processes that govern the cryosphere is necessary to understand the water budget within an area that receives significant winter precipitation. This research investigates two components of the cryosphere, namely snow and icicle formation, through the application of the stable isotopes of oxygen and hydrogen.
Stable isotope measurements from precipitation collected throughout the winter of 2013-2014 are presented. The measured isotope values are in discord with known isotope effects. This discrepancy hints at a previously unexplored atmospheric phenomenon, where the enriched oxygen isotope signature of atmospheric ozone was incorporated, via photochemical reactions, into water vapor which subsequently fell as precipitation.
Furthermore, this work uses stable isotope measurements to tests the theoretical model suggested for icicle formation and examines icicle evolution. This is the first systematic stable isotope study of icicles. It is proposed that icicles grow according to a “growth-cessation-growth” model, where a cessation period occurs between growth periods.
Brubaker, Thomas C., "Stable Isotope Investigations of Two Components of the Cryosphere: Snow and Icicle Formation" (2016). Masters Theses. 675.