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Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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CP | Articles | Volume 15, issue 1
Clim. Past, 15, 169–187, 2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Clim. Past, 15, 169–187, 2019
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 29 Jan 2019

Research article | 29 Jan 2019

Precipitation δ18O on the Himalaya–Tibet orogeny and its relationship to surface elevation

Hong Shen and Christopher J. Poulsen
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Cited articles  
Abe, M., Kitoh, A., and Yasunari, T.: An Evolution of the Asian Summer Monsoon Associated with Mountain Uplift – Simulation with the MRI Atmosphere–Ocean Coupled GCM, J. Meteorol. Soc. Jpn. Ser. II, 81, 909–933,, 2003. 
Aron, P. G. and Poulsen, C. J.: Cenozoic mountain building and climate evolution, in: Mountains, Climate and Biodiversity, John Wiley and Sons Ltd, New York, 111–121, 2018. 
Battisti, D. S., Ding, Q., and Roe, G. H.: Coherent pan-Asian climatic and isotopic response to orbital forcing of tropical insolation, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 119, 11997–12020,, 2014. 
Bershaw, J., Penny, S. M., and Garzione, C. N.: Stable isotopes of modern water across the Himalaya and eastern Tibetan Plateau: Implications for estimates of paleoelevation and paleoclimate, J. Geophys. Res.-Atmos., 117, D02110,, 2012. 
Publications Copernicus
Short summary
The stable isotopic composition of water (δ18O) preserved in terrestrial sediments has been used to reconstruct surface elevations. The method is based on the observed decrease in δ18O with elevation, attributed to rainout during air mass ascent. We use a climate model to test the δ18O–elevation relationship during Tibetan–Himalayan uplift. We show that δ18O is a poor indicator of past elevation over most of the region, as processes other than rainout are important when elevations are lower.
The stable isotopic composition of water (δ18O) preserved in terrestrial sediments has been used...