Distribution of stable isotopes in surface water along the Danube River in Serbia

Isotopes Environ Health Stud. 2008 Jun;44(2):137-48. doi: 10.1080/10256010802066141.


Stable hydrogen and oxygen isotopes were analysed in water samples from the River Danube and its tributaries during a longitudinal survey performed in August 2005 on Serbian territory. Danube river water data ranged from-80 per thousand to-66 per thousand for delta2H, and from-11.2 per thousand to-9.3 per thousand for delta18O with delta values increasing downstream. The isotopic signatures of the adjacent tributaries (the Tisza, the Sava and the Velika Morava) sampled at the locations close to their confluence with the Danube (Titel, Ostruznica and Ljubicevski most, respectively) just about the time of the campaign were enriched (-67 per thousand and-63 per thousand for delta2H, and-9.3 per thousand and-8.9 per thousand for delta18O) with respect to the Danube water because of their catchment effects. Hydrogen and oxygen stable isotope values were used in combination with measured physico-chemical and biological parameters to trace hydrological and transport processes in these river systems. The mixing relationships between the Danube main stream and its tributaries were estimated using the mass balance for isotopic composition and electrical conductivity as conservative parameters. Evidence of an incomplete mixing process at the Centa location, 8 km below the confluence of the Tisza river, with its participation of 88% was shown by its oxygen-18 content. The correlations between river water isotope composition and physico-chemical and biological parameters are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Hydrogen / analysis*
  • Oxygen Isotopes / analysis*
  • Rivers / chemistry*
  • Water Movements
  • Yugoslavia


  • Oxygen Isotopes
  • Hydrogen