AGU 2020: Sessions related to CZ Science

30 Jun 2020

Submit your abstract for the 2020 AGU Fall Meeting by 29 July 2020 at 11:59 p.m., ET.

National | Boulder | Calhoun | Catalina-Jemez | Eel | IML | Luquillo | Reynolds | Shale Hills | Sierra |

The American Geophysical Union will hold its annual fall meeting with the theme,"Shaping the Future of Science," on 7-11 December 2020 virtually with the possibilty of a regional gathering in San Francisco, CA. The registration fee will be around 50% less than the in-person rate and lower rates for graduate student and other groups.

Meeting website:

Important Dates:

  • 23 April 2020: Session, town hall, and workshop proposals deadline
  • 29 July 2020: Abstract submission deadline
  • 7-11 December 2020: AGU Fall Meeting

AGU Sessions related to CZ Science:

Consider submitting an abstract to the following AGU sessions related to CZ Science. The abstract submission deadline is 29 July 2020 at 11:59 p.m., ET. To add to this list, please e-mail

Advancing Science through Observations, Monitoring, and Experimentation in Catchment, Critical Zone, and Ecosystem Studies

Catchment, critical zone, and ecosystem studies are foundational to hydrological, biogeochemical, and ecological process understanding. Studies and monitoring at sentinel sites provide context for understanding fundamental processes and detecting consequences of environmental change on ecosystems. Studies employ conventional techniques, or couple those approaches with novel and emerging technologies. Multi-site comparisons across a range of temporal and spatial scales synthesize individual place-based research into long-term and holistic understanding. We encourage contributions from catchment, critical zone, and ecosystem studies, particularly studies that are crucial to scientific discovery, managing resources, shaping policy and promoting societal well-being.
Primary Convener: Stephen D Sebestyen, USDA Forest Service

Evapotranspiration sensitivity to global changes and its impacts on the hydrological cycle and water resources

Evapotranspiration (ET) is the largest loss to the annual continental water balance. It results from interactions between the reservoirs of the Critical Zone, coupling aquifers, soils, biosphere and atmosphere. It is then sensible to changes in temperature, moisture, CO2 concentration in the atmosphere, changes in land use and vegetation state in the biosphere, changes in water availability and water transfers above and below the surface even in deep aquifers. ET is also impacted through any water management policies like irrigation, dam and other impoundments. Small changes in ET represent huge water volumes that can impact massively recharge and river flows and thus our stores of freshwater. In this session we are specifically interested in contributions that study through observations and modelling, how surface and atmospheric changes will impact the continental water cycle through ET changes and then subsequent trajectories for water resources at the surface and in deep aquifers.
Primary Convener: Jean-Martial Cohard, University Joseph Fourier

From Crack Tips to Mountain Tops: Interactions Between Environment, Fracture Growth, and Surface Processes in Bedrock Landscapes

Bedrock landscapes span diverse climatic and tectonic settings, but they are understudied relative to their soil-mantled brethren.  Bedrock landscape processes are predicated on rock material properties, fracture networks on all scales, and climatic conditions. All such factors influence weathering and the subsequent development of potentially predictable, diagnostic landscape forms. Yet fracture mechanics concepts such as subcritical cracking and the role of environment in time-dependent crack propagation are not fully integrated into surface process paradigms, despite the fact that much existing rock physics research is relevant to fracturing at Earth's surface. This session provides a venue for workers from diverse disciplines including Rock Physics, Surface Processes, Hazards and Critical Zone Science to explore and share emerging ideas at the interface between these communities. We seek presentations of field observations, experimental data, and numerical and physical modeling that may provide insights from the crack-tip to landscape scale regarding how bedrock landscapes evolve.
Primary Convener: Jill A Marshall, University of Arkansas

From Recharge to Discharge: Towards a Comprehensive Description of the Underground Journey of Water and Biogeochemical Elements

A wide distribution of flow paths occurs in the subsurface as a result of multi-scale heterogeneous topography and geology, fluctuating climate, and anthropogenic forcing. This distribution controls the amount and quality of groundwater and influences the functioning of receiving surface water bodies and dependent ecosystems. However, the current understanding of water and element fate and transport from recharge to discharge is severely limited due to commonly-used oversimplifications of the controlling parameters and processes. As a result, the ability to develop effective water resources management and ecosystem preservation strategies is seriously impaired. This session invites novel contributions aiming at unraveling the complex interplay between topography, geology, climate, and anthropogenic forcing in controlling groundwater flow paths, residence times, and biogeochemical fluxes in the critical zone. Contributions may focus on a broad range of scales and present various approaches including field-based investigations, analysis of large datasets, analytical and numerical modelling, and theoretical frameworks.
Primary Convener: Etienne Bresciani, Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)

Hydrological and Biogeochemical Cycles Interactions in the Critical Zone under Varying Land Use, Ecosystem Management, and Climatic Forcing

Land use changes, ecosystem management, and climate variability alter the functionality of the Critical Zone (including water, carbon, and nutrient cycling), with potential implications for ecosystem services, such as carbon sequestration, water resources, and primary productivity. Characterizing the effect of such disturbances necessitates fundamental understanding of interactions between hydrological, physical, and biogeochemical processes across spatiotemporal scales. Here, we solicit contributions aimed at building mechanistic understanding of such interactions under different land use changes, ecosystem management strategies, and climate forcings, through theoretical, modeling, and experimental approaches. We welcome contributions, focusing on various ecoregions, that investigate fundamental and applied questions ranging from water and nutrient cycles to ecosystem productivity, plant water and nutrient use efficiencies, mineral-water interactions, and soil carbon sequestration.
Primary Convener: Salvatore Calabrese, Texas A&M University

Near-surface geophysics in the critical zone

Earth’s surface and shallow (<~100 m) subsurface environment, comprising air, water, biota, organic matter, and Earth materials, encompass the “critical zone”, the dynamic interface between the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. While it is straightforward to characterize topography and the above-ground structure of the critical zone, limited direct observations make near-surface geophysics essential to mapping and monitoring below-ground critical zone architecture. Furthermore, their wide range of applicability in terms of scale of measurement (cm to km), makes these methods particularly versatile. In this session we request abstracts focusing on: 1) geophysical characterization/imaging of subsurface critical zone architecture; and/or 2) geophysical monitoring of critical zone processes/dynamics and their interaction with hydrological and biogeochemical cycles. Laboratory to field-based studies spanning from single-point to larger scale measurements (e.g., aerial surveys) with implications for monitoring of critical zone processes in the subsurface, are of particular interest. Studies linking scales of measurement also encouraged.
Primary Convener: Gregory Mount, Indiana University of Pennsylvania Main Campus

Stable Isotopes in the Critical Zone: Methods, Applications, and Process Interpretations

Stable isotopes are powerful tools for studying the transport and transformation of water, carbon, and nutrients. Their use has enabled new understanding of the critical zone and the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Furthermore, new methodological and technological developments have not only facilitated using stable isotopes at finer scales, but also across larger domains. Thus, new opportunities and insights have emerged, supporting increasingly interdisciplinary perspectives on critical zone processes, across multiple scales. This session aims to bridge bio-hydro-geo-eco communities and address new understanding as well as the status quo on stable-isotope methods and applications in critical zone science. Studies that cross disciplinary boundaries and reveal new process understanding are especially welcome. This session also encourages presentations of opinions, perspectives, and syntheses that guide the critical zone stable isotope community.
Primary Convener: Scott T Allen, University of Utah

To add to this list, please e-mail

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