A Hydrometeorological Investigation of Precipitation and Water Resource Variability in Barbados

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner
Sunday, 2 February 2014
Hall C3 (The Georgia World Congress Center )
Veronica Olexa Hall, Bowling Green, KY; and J. Polk, G. Ouellette, and J. D. Durkee

Extreme events, such as flooding and drought, caused by climate change will alter how humans utilize water resources in the future. Tropical island nations, such as Barbados, are particularly vulnerable as changes in storm frequency and intensity will influence karst aquifer storage. This research study involved an isotopic hydroclimatological analysis of Barbados' rainfall and groundwater in relation to mesoscale and synoptic characteristics of individual storm events to better understand the life cycle of storm events and their relationship to groundwater resources. Over a period of 1.5-years, weekly samples of dripwater, rainfall, groundwater, and 10-minute precipitation amounts were collected from Harrison's Cave. These samples underwent isotopic analysis for oxygen and deuterium isotopes. TRMM satellite data was used to classify individual storms based upon size, shape, and point of origin. Synoptic and internal storm structure characteristics were identified and related to oxygen and deuterium isotopic variability. As on January 2013, the trend in weather station data indicates a substantial decrease in temperature with an increased amount of rainfall in December 2012. This in an unusual trend as the beginning of the dry season is in December. Anomalous trends indicate that seasonal variations, which are impacted by teleconnections, may play a large role in water resource variability.