Surface Water and Climate
Interpolating the isotopic composition of modern meteoric precipitation
Article first published online: 28 OCT 2003
Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.
Water Resources Research
Volume 39, Issue 10, October 2003
How to Cite
2003), Interpolating the isotopic composition of modern meteoric precipitation, Water Resour. Res., 39, 1299, doi:10.1029/2003WR002086, 10., and (
- Issue published online: 28 OCT 2003
- Article first published online: 28 OCT 2003
- Manuscript Accepted: 7 AUG 2003
- Manuscript Revised: 2 JUN 2003
- Manuscript Received: 21 FEB 2003
- stable isotopes;
- meteoric water;
 An accurate representation of the spatial distribution of stable hydrogen and oxygen isotopes in modern precipitation is required for many hydrological, paleoclimate, and ecological applications. No standardized method for achieving such a representation exists, and potential errors associated with previously employed methods are not understood. Using resampling, we test the accuracy of interpolated δD and δ18O estimates made using four methods. Prediction error for all methods is strongly related to number of data and will likely decline with the addition of new data. The best method lowers estimation error by 10–15% relative to others tested and gives an average error, using all available data, ≈2.5% of the global range. We present and interpret global maps of interpolated δD, δ18O, and deuterium excess in precipitation and the 95% confidence intervals for these values created using the optimal method. These depict global and regional patterns, make evident the robustness of interpolated isotopic patterns, and highlight target areas for future precipitation sampling.