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Tracking the Origin of Moisture (and Moisture for Precipitation) over the Danube River Basin through a Lagrangian Approach
* 1 , 1 , 1 , 1, 2 , 1
1  Environmental Physics Laboratory (EPhysLab), Facultade de Ciencias, Universidad de Vigo, Ourense, Spain
2  Department of Atmospheric Sciences, Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


In this study we investigate the sources of moisture (and moisture for precipitation) over the Danube River Basin (DRB) through a Lagrangian approach which uses the FLEXPART V9.0 Lagrangian particle dispersion model together with ERA-Interim reanalysis data to track changes in atmospheric moisture along 10-day trajectories. This approach computes the budget of evaporation minus precipitation by calculating changes in specific humidity along forward and backward trajectories. We considered a temporal period of 34 years, from 1980 to 2014 which allowed identifying climatological sources and moisture transport towards the basin at interannual scale. Results showed that the DRB receives moisture mainly from seven different oceanic, maritime and terrestrial moisture source regions: North Atlantic Ocean, North Africa, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, Danube River Basin and Central and Eastern Europe. The contribution of these sources differs with the season. During the Wet season (October–March) the main moisture source for the DRB is the Mediterranean Sea, while during the Dry season (April–September) the dominant source of moisture in the DRB itself. Moisture coming from each source has a different contribution for the precipitation in the DRB. Between the studied sources results show that the moisture coming from the Mediterranean Sea provides the highest values for precipitation in the basin during both seasons, extending to the whereas the whole basin for the Wet season and more confined to the western side during the Dry one. Moisture coming from the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea was that less contribute to precipitation.

Keywords: moisture sources and sinks; Lagrangian approach; precipitation; FLEXPART; Danube River Basin