Critical Zone Exploration Network - CZEN


Critical Zone Exploration Network - CZEN

The [http://www.czen.org Critical Zone Exploration Network] (CZEN) is a network of people, sites, tools, and ideas to investigate processes within the Critical Zone. This Zone, defined to encompass all fluid, mineral, gaseous, and biotic components from the outer envelope of vegetation down to the lower limits of groundwater, supports all life on Earth. CZEN was proposed by a consortium of researchers and educators drawn from the geosciences, microbiology, ecology, soil science, and engineering (Weathering System Science Consortium, WSSC) to investigate the physical, chemical and biological processes shaping and transforming Earth’s outermost thin veneer. WSSC is now CZEN. Without a targeted initiative to understand the feedbacks controlling mass and energy exchanges, individual research efforts lack the comprehensiveness and depth needed to develop a process-level understanding of Critical Zone processes, including the response of this Zone to climatic, tectonic, and anthropogenic forcings. CZEN will provide opportunities to develop interdisciplinary approaches to address these questions:

1. How do processes in the Critical Zone control fluxes of carbon, particulates, and atmospherically reactive trace gases between the land surface and the atmosphere?

2. How do important biogeochemical processes and mechanisms at Critical Zone interfaces govern long-term sustainability of soil and water resources? 3. How do processes in the Critical Zone that nourish ecosystems change over geologic and human time scales?

4. How do weathering processes impact the establishment of the Critical Zone and how is this weathering engine perturbed by global environmental change?

Related Sites

The Critical Zone Exploration Network [http://www.czen.org]


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