Oxygen and hydrogen isotopic composition of tap waters in France

Martin.Werner [ at ] awi.de


The isotopic compositions of oxygen (δ18O) and hydrogen (δ2H) are widely used to locate the geo- graphical origin of biological remains or manufactured products. In this paper, we analyse the distributions of δ18O and δ2H in tap waters sampled across France, and in precipitation interpolated with the Online Isotopes in Precipitation Calculator and modelled with the isotope-enabled ECHAM6-wiso model. Our aim is to provide isoscapes usable in archaeology and forensics and evaluate whether the modelled data could be surrogates for measured ones. The δ18O and δ2H in the 396 tap waters sampled varied spatially within a range of 10‰ and 77‰, respectively. Their consistent distributions followed rules summarized by the effects of altitude and dis- tance from the coast. Their variations along the year were small. Therefore, the database provides a solid ref- erence for δ18O and δ2H of the water supply system at the regional scale. The areas with the most uncommon oxygen and hydrogen isotopic compositions (Atlantic coast south of Brittany and the highest elevations in the Alps) are the most accurately traceable areas in provenancing studies. The isotopic compositions of modelled precipitation have the same spatial distributions but different absolute values from those of tap waters. There- fore, our results favour the use of statistical isoscapes rather than general circulation model-based isoscapes in provenancing studies.

Item Type
Primary Division
Primary Topic
Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
Publication Status
Eprint ID
DOI 10.1144/SP507-2020-207

Cite as
Daux, V. , Minster, B. , Cauquoin, A. , Jossoud, O. , Werner, M. and Landais, A. (2021): Oxygen and hydrogen isotopic composition of tap waters in France , Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 507 . doi: 10.1144/SP507-2020-207

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