Isotopic Data Sonification: Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory
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Each precipitation event has a unique fingerprint. This fingerprint is recorded in the duration of the event and the isotopic composition of the rainfall, as a result of differing proportions of oxygen isotopes. The ratio of O¹⁶ to O¹⁸ is crucial in identifying origin and movement of water within the hydrologic cycle. In some investigated watersheds, as rainwater flows through the ecosystem, it is continually recorded by a series of in-ground instruments and examined as a means of understanding the responsiveness of the hydrologic system of a particular region. Sonification of the unique fingerprints of each storm as it passes through the hydrologic system offers an opportunity to sonically represent fluctuations in rainwater hydrology over an extended period of time, allowing for a deeper understanding of the hydrologic cycle of the region. Sonification of a watershed can include data for groundwater, stream water, and precipitation data. Transformation of the data into sound creates a uniquely informative representation of the data, removed from the constraints of static visualizations such as the line graph, and – if the datasets are long time duration – can provide a unique look at both single weather events and larger global warming patterns within a particular geographical region.