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A multidisciplinary team of scientists established Christiana River Basin Critical Zone Observatory (CRB-CZO) to integrate three major processes governing the critical zone: the water cycle, the mineral cycle, and the carbon cycle. Our holistic study of the entire 1440 km2 Christina River Basin watershed temporally integrates vertical and lateral carbon, mineral and water fluxes over a range of modern and historical land uses.

Explore our goals, hypotheses and objectives »

Research highlights

  • Intensive study sites for the impacts of mature forest, row crop agriculture, and continuous excavation (landfill) on hydrological, pedological and geomorphological processes.
  • Long-term continuous datasets as a basis for hydrological and material transport models, including implementation of the Penn State Integrated Hydrological Model (PIHM).
  • Intensive geochemical characterization of mineral weathering, carbon-mineral complex formation and carbon stabilization in soils and sediments of different origin and landuse.
  • Source-to-sink sediment tracing study using radio-isotopes and other geochemical "fingerprints".

CRB-CZO Research Overview


Research News

FEATURED NATIONALLY

Water Resources Research Special Collection: Concentration-discharge relations in the critical zone

30 Oct 2017 - Water Resources Research published a new special collection in September 2017 featuring concentration-discharge research from multiple CZOs.

FEATURED

The frontier beneath our feet — an AGU commentary on the critical zone

21 Apr 2017 - AGU has published a collection of commentaries highlighting the important role Earth and space science research plays in society.

FEATURED

2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society

06 Apr 2017 - 2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society.

FEATURED

New study suggests bedrock weathering based on topography

30 Oct 2015 - St. Clair et al. suggest tectonic stresses interact with topography to influence bedrock weathering.


CZOs at AGU 2016

22 Nov 2016 - CZOs at AGU 2016: Agenda and award recipients

2016 CZO REUs and RETs present summer research

01 Aug 2016 - CZO REUs and RETs presented their research at the CUAHSI Biennial Colloquium, July 24-27, 2016, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. The presentations...

EOS: Taking the Pulse of the Earth’s Surface Systems

04 Dec 2015 - Taking the Pulse of the Earth's Surface Systems In September of 2014, Laurel Larsen (UC Berkley), Elizabeth Hajek (Penn State), and others...

2015 CZO REUs and RETs present summer research

17 Aug 2015 - The Critical Zone Observatory Research Experience for Undergraduates and Research Experience for Teachers program traveled to Baltimore, Maryland to...

Joint AGU-ESA Event Brings Together Collaborative Networks

17 Aug 2015 - Members of AGU and the Ecological Society of America came together in their first joint event to discuss opportunities for research collaboration.

More News >


Example Publications

FEATURED

Variation of organic matter quantity and quality in streams at Critical Zone Observatory watersheds. Miller, Matthew P., Boyer, Elizabeth W., McKnight, Diane M., Brown, Michael G., Gabor, Rachel S., Hunsaker, Carolyn T., Iavorivska, Lidiia, Inamdar, Shreeram, Johnson, Dale W., Kaplan, Louis A., Lin, Henry, McDowell, William H., Perdrial, Julia N. (2016): Water Resources Research, 52 (10): 8202–8216 Cross-CZO

FEATURED

Geophysical imaging reveals topographic stress control of bedrock weathering. St. Clair, J., S. Moon, W. S. Holbrook, J. T. Perron, C. S. Riebe, S. J. Martel, B. Carr, C. Harman, K. Singha, D. deB. Richter (2015): Science, 30 October 2015, Vol. 350, no. 6260, pp. 534-538 Cross-CZO National

FEATURED

Hydrologic dynamics and geochemical responses within a floodplain aquifer and hyporheic zone during Hurricane Sandy. Sawyer, A.H., L.A. Kaplan, O. Lazareva, and H.A. Michael (2014): Water Resources Research, 50 (6): 4877–4892

FEATURED

Riverine coupling of biogeochemical cycles between land, oceans, and atmosphere. Aufdenkampe, A. K., Mayorga, E., Raymond, P. A., Melack, J. M., Doney, S. C., Alin, S. R., Aalto, R. E., and Yoo, K. (2011): Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9:53-60.


Reviews and syntheses: on the roles trees play in building and plumbing the critical zone. Brantley, Susan L., David M. Eissenstat, Jill A. Marshall, Sarah E. Godsey, Zsuzsanna Balogh-Brunstad, Diana L. Karwan, Shirley A. Papuga, Joshua Roering, Todd E. Dawson, Jaivime Evaristo, Oliver Chadwick, Jeffrey J. McDonnell, Kathleen C. Weathers (2017): Biogeosciences, 14, 5115-5142 Cross-CZO National

Chapter 2 – The Role of Critical Zone Observatories in Critical Zone Science. White T., Brantley S., Banwart S., Chorover J., Dietrich W., Derry L., Lohse K., Anderson S., Aufdendkampe A., Bales R., Kumar P., Richter D., McDowell B. (2015): Developments in Earth Surface Processes 19: 15–78 Cross-CZO National

Laser vision: lidar as a transformative tool to advance critical zone science. Harpold, A. A., Marshall, J. A., Lyon, S. W., Barnhart, T. B., Fisher, B. A., Donovan, M., Brubaker, K. M., Crosby, C. J., Glenn, N. F., Glennie, C. L., Kirchner, P. B., Lam, N., Mankoff, K. D., McCreight, J. L., Molotch, N. P., Musselman, K. N., Pelletier, J., Russo, T., Sangireddy, H., Sjöberg, Y., Swetnam, T., and West, N. (2015): Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2881-2897 Cross-CZO National

Run-of-river impoundments pass bed material and establish equilibrium bed morphology while remaining largely unfilled with sediment in Northern Delaware. Pearson, A.J., and Pizzuto, J.E. (2015): Geomorphology

Soil moisture response to snowmelt timing in mixed-conifer subalpine forests. Harpold A. A., Molotch N. P., Musselman K. N., Bales R. C., Kirchner P. B., Litvak M. and Brooks P. D. (2015): Hydrological Processes 29(12): 2782–2798 Cross-CZO

The Geochemical Transformation of Soils by Agriculture and Its Dependence on Soil Erosion: an Application of Geochemical Mass Balance Approach. Yoo, K., B. Wenell, J. Ji, A. Aufdenkampe, J. Marquard, J. Klaminder (2015): Science of the Total Environment

Nutrient spiraling and transport in streams -- The importance of instream biological processes to nutrient dynamics in streams. Webster, J. R., Newbold, J. D. and Laurence, L. (2015): In Jones, J.W., and Stanley, E. H., editors. Streams Ecosystems in a Changing Environment, Elsevier. ISBN: 9780124058903

More Publications >