Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.5194/hess-23-2637-2019
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Technical note: A microcontroller-based automatic rain sampler for stable isotope studies
Author Michelsen, N.; Laube, G.; Friesen, J.; Weise, S.M.; Bait Said, A.B.A.; Müller, T.
Journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
Year 2019
Department HDG; CATHYD
Volume 23
Issue 6
Page From 2637
Page To 2645
Language englisch

Automatic samplers represent a convenient way to gather rain samples for isotope (δ18O and δ2H) and water quality analyses. Yet, most commercial collectors are expensive and do not reduce post-sampling evaporation and the associated isotope fractionation sufficiently. Thus, we have developed a microcontroller-based automatic rain sampler for timer-actuated collection of integral rain samples. Sampling periods are freely selectable (minutes to weeks), and the device is low-cost, simple, robust, and customizable. Moreover, a combination of design features reliably minimizes evaporation from the collection bottles. Evaporative losses were assessed by placing the pre-filled sampler in a laboratory oven with which a diurnal temperature regime (21–31 C) was simulated for 26 weeks. At the end of the test, all bottles had lost less than 1 % of the original water amount, and all isotope shifts were within the analytical precision.

These results show that even multi-week field deployments of the device would result in rather small evaporative mass losses and isotope shifts. Hence, we deem our sampler a useful addition to devices that are currently commercially available and/or described in the scientific literature. To enable reproduction, all relevant details on hard- and software are openly accessible.

Persistent UFZ Identifier
Michelsen, N., Laube, G., Friesen, J., Weise, S.M., Bait Said, A.B.A., Müller, T. (2019):
Technical note: A microcontroller-based automatic rain sampler for stable isotope studies
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 23 (6), 2637 - 2645