Radial and Tangential Variation of Deuterium in Hailstones

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  • 1 National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colo. 80303
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Abstract

Radial variations of deuterium content are measured in nine large hailstones from three storms; of tritium content in one of the nine; and tangential variations of deuterium content in a wet-growth layer in five of the nine. Crystal size and air bubble content are noted as well. It is concluded 1) that probably neither air bubble content nor crystal size is as good a relative height indicator as deuterium content; 2) that the trajectories of large hailstones can be very simple, not involving recirculations at larger-than-embryo sizes though two of the nine stones analyzed do show recirculation; 3) that the maximum altitude of growth of several of the large hailstones studied was at a temperature above −25°C; 4) that wet-growth layers can show significant tangential variations in D-content; and 5) that studies of hailstone radial deuterium variations can yield valuable information when applied to many hailstones from single storms or when coupled with deuterium measurements on samples of liquid water or water vapor collected within the storms.

Abstract

Radial variations of deuterium content are measured in nine large hailstones from three storms; of tritium content in one of the nine; and tangential variations of deuterium content in a wet-growth layer in five of the nine. Crystal size and air bubble content are noted as well. It is concluded 1) that probably neither air bubble content nor crystal size is as good a relative height indicator as deuterium content; 2) that the trajectories of large hailstones can be very simple, not involving recirculations at larger-than-embryo sizes though two of the nine stones analyzed do show recirculation; 3) that the maximum altitude of growth of several of the large hailstones studied was at a temperature above −25°C; 4) that wet-growth layers can show significant tangential variations in D-content; and 5) that studies of hailstone radial deuterium variations can yield valuable information when applied to many hailstones from single storms or when coupled with deuterium measurements on samples of liquid water or water vapor collected within the storms.

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