• alpine rivers;
  • glacier;
  • ice-snow meltwater;
  • isotope hydrology


Hailuogou (HLG) River and Huangbengliu (HBL) Gulley are typical alpine glacial and nonglacial rivers in Mount Gongga China, respectively. To differentiate distinct hydrologic regimes of the two rivers, δ18O and δ2H were measured on 196 water samples collected almost monthly from May 2008 to December 2009. The results indicate that: (i) the measured isotopic data show that stream water is overall isotopically more enriched in 2H and 18O than ice-snow meltwater but more depleted than precipitation and ground water; (ii) these data also suggest that stream flow is generally more dominated by ice-snow meltwater in HLG River than in HBL Gulley; (iii) δ2H/δ18O relationship suggests that isotopic composition of precipitation is well preserved in stream flow, and evaporation is only minor in both HBL Gulley and HLG River; (iv) this study highlights that ice-snow meltwater is a substantially important water source in alpine regions on south-eastern edge of Tibetan Plateau.