Deciphering key processes controlling rainfall isotopic variability during extreme tropical cyclones

Ricardo Sánchez-Murillo*, Ana M. Durán-Quesada, Germain Esquivel-Hernández, Daniela Rojas-Cantillano, Christian Birkel, Kristen Welsh, Minerva Sánchez-Llull, Carlos M. Alonso-Hernández, Doerthe Tetzlaff, Chris Soulsby, Jan Boll, Naoyuki Kurita, Kim M. Cobb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The Mesoamerican and Caribbean (MAC) region is characterized by tropical cyclones (TCs), strong El Niño-Southern Oscillation events, and climate variability that bring unique hazards to socio-ecological systems. Here we report the first characterization of the isotopic evolution of a TC (Hurricane Otto, 2016) in the MAC region. We use long-term daily rainfall isotopes from Costa Rica and event-based sampling of Hurricanes Irma and Maria (2017), to underpin the dynamical drivers of TC isotope ratios. During Hurricane Otto, rainfall exhibited a large isotopic range, comparable to the annual isotopic cycle. As Hurricane Otto organized into a Category 3, rapid isotopic depletion coupled with a decrease in d-excess indicates efficient isotopic fractionation within ~200 km SW of the warm core. Our results shed light on key processes governing rainfall isotope ratios in the MAC region during continental and maritime TC tracks, with applications to the interpretation of paleo-hydroclimate across the tropics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4321
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2019

Fingerprint

hurricanes
Cyclonic Storms
Caribbean region
cyclones
Hurricanes
Rain
Isotopes
isotope ratios
Costa Rica
maria
Tropics
Southern Oscillation
ecosystems
Fractionation
tropical regions
fractionation
hazards
climate
Hazards
depletion

Keywords

  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Climate Sciences
  • Hydrology
  • Natural Hazards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Sánchez-Murillo, R., Durán-Quesada, A. M., Esquivel-Hernández, G., Rojas-Cantillano, D., Birkel, C., Welsh, K., ... Cobb, K. M. (2019). Deciphering key processes controlling rainfall isotopic variability during extreme tropical cyclones. Nature Communications, 10, [4321]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12062-3

Deciphering key processes controlling rainfall isotopic variability during extreme tropical cyclones. / Sánchez-Murillo, Ricardo; Durán-Quesada, Ana M.; Esquivel-Hernández, Germain; Rojas-Cantillano, Daniela; Birkel, Christian; Welsh, Kristen; Sánchez-Llull, Minerva; Alonso-Hernández, Carlos M.; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; Soulsby, Chris; Boll, Jan; Kurita, Naoyuki; Cobb, Kim M.

In: Nature Communications, Vol. 10, 4321, 20.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sánchez-Murillo, R, Durán-Quesada, AM, Esquivel-Hernández, G, Rojas-Cantillano, D, Birkel, C, Welsh, K, Sánchez-Llull, M, Alonso-Hernández, CM, Tetzlaff, D, Soulsby, C, Boll, J, Kurita, N & Cobb, KM 2019, 'Deciphering key processes controlling rainfall isotopic variability during extreme tropical cyclones', Nature Communications, vol. 10, 4321. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12062-3
Sánchez-Murillo R, Durán-Quesada AM, Esquivel-Hernández G, Rojas-Cantillano D, Birkel C, Welsh K et al. Deciphering key processes controlling rainfall isotopic variability during extreme tropical cyclones. Nature Communications. 2019 Sep 20;10. 4321. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12062-3
Sánchez-Murillo, Ricardo ; Durán-Quesada, Ana M. ; Esquivel-Hernández, Germain ; Rojas-Cantillano, Daniela ; Birkel, Christian ; Welsh, Kristen ; Sánchez-Llull, Minerva ; Alonso-Hernández, Carlos M. ; Tetzlaff, Doerthe ; Soulsby, Chris ; Boll, Jan ; Kurita, Naoyuki ; Cobb, Kim M. / Deciphering key processes controlling rainfall isotopic variability during extreme tropical cyclones. In: Nature Communications. 2019 ; Vol. 10.
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abstract = "The Mesoamerican and Caribbean (MAC) region is characterized by tropical cyclones (TCs), strong El Ni{\~n}o-Southern Oscillation events, and climate variability that bring unique hazards to socio-ecological systems. Here we report the first characterization of the isotopic evolution of a TC (Hurricane Otto, 2016) in the MAC region. We use long-term daily rainfall isotopes from Costa Rica and event-based sampling of Hurricanes Irma and Maria (2017), to underpin the dynamical drivers of TC isotope ratios. During Hurricane Otto, rainfall exhibited a large isotopic range, comparable to the annual isotopic cycle. As Hurricane Otto organized into a Category 3, rapid isotopic depletion coupled with a decrease in d-excess indicates efficient isotopic fractionation within ~200 km SW of the warm core. Our results shed light on key processes governing rainfall isotope ratios in the MAC region during continental and maritime TC tracks, with applications to the interpretation of paleo-hydroclimate across the tropics.",
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AU - Rojas-Cantillano, Daniela

AU - Birkel, Christian

AU - Welsh, Kristen

AU - Sánchez-Llull, Minerva

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