Nine US observatories - from Puerto Rico to California.
Existing and new resources - Sensor and communication networks, eddy flux towers, boreholes, gauges and much more (some previously built by LTER, Forest Service, et al.)
Community of researchers - Collaborative teams work at the same field sites and encourage other scientists to take advantage of the CZO infrastructure.
The National CZO Program is centered on nine observatories located in differing climatic and physiographic environments, from California to Puerto Rico. Each observatory is an environmental laboratory studying the chemical, physical and biological processes that shape Earth's surface on short-to-long time scales. Support is provided by the US National Science Foundation (NSF), Geoscience Directorate, Earth Science Division. An additional observatory, Christina CZO, is no longer funded by NSF.
Each CZO is working toward a common infrasructure while establishing additional resources that advance their unique strengths.
Ongoing collaborations exist with agencies and institutions that have either previously established infrastructure or are cost sharing new infrastructure. New additional partner institutions are encouraged.
Individual or groups of researchers from outside the formal CZO program are encouraged to take avantage of the available infrastructure and data.
28 Sep 2017 (National, Luquillo) - Hurricane Maria has caused damage to both the landscape and the infrastructure at Luquillo CZO, Puerto Rico.
05 Oct 2017 (Luquillo) - Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. The Category 4 storm destroyed thousands of homes, businesses, bridges, communication towers, the entire...
05 Oct 2017 (Luquillo) - The world’s rainforests absorb 30 percent of human-produced carbon dioxide. Plants take up the CO2 through photosynthesis and release it...
19 Jul 2017 (Sierra) - Wonder what soils and sponges have in common? Or why some trees in the Sierra Nevada are dying while others are surviving? Find out in our new comic.
01 May 2017 (Calhoun) - Anna Wade (visiting from Duke University) and Jay Austin (based at the University of Georgia) are collaborating by using X-ray Diffraction (XRD) to...
06 Apr 2017 (National, Boulder, Calhoun, Catalina-Jemez, Christina, Eel, IML, Luquillo, Reynolds, Shale Hills, Sierra) - 2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society.
Our CZO spans from the Continental Divide (4120 m) in the Front Range of the Rockies to the western edge of the Plains (1480 m). Our research takes advantage of large differences in elevation, climate, geologic history, and weathering regime.
NW 40.158241, -105.700648; SE 39.847222, -105.002685
Approx center point lat,long: 39.977774, -105.356698
The Calhoun CZO is located in a region with an environmental history that involves some of the most serious agricultural land and water degradation in N America 5 themes:Ecohydrological Recovery; Biogeochemical Decoupling; Erosion-induced Carbon Dynamics; Human-CZ Interactions; Dynamic Persistence of Alternative States
NW 34.662333, -81.782834; SE 34.544231, -81.649356
Approx center point lat,long: 34.6035, -81.7160
[Christina CZO is no longer active]
Our CZO is located in the Piedmont and Atlantic Coastal Plain which provides drinking water to a million people in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Our research focusses on water, carbon and mineral fluxes (temporal and spatial integration), including human impacts.
NW 40.16, -76.3; SE 39.4, -75.0
Approx center point lat,long: 39.698520, -75.626309
NW 40.7263, -124.3490; SE 39.2406, -122.6680
Approx center point lat,long: 39.718588, -123.652794
NW 46.352885, -97.363941; SE 39.611674, -88.142584
Approx center point lat,long: 39.98731004722222, -88.66616; 41.72710555555556, -91.77335833333333; 44.1677, -94.0034
Secondary Bounding lat,long:
Minnesota River: NW 46.3530, -97.3517 ; SE 43.2307, -93.0885Clear Creek: NW 41.7680, -92.0185; SE 41.6530, -91.5615Sangamon: NW 40.5670, -89.5405; SE 39.6110, -88.1425
Our CZO comprises elevation (climate) gradients on rhyolite, granite and schist in northern New Mexico and Southern Arizona. Our research is especially pertinent to climate variations of arid and semi-arid systems.
NW 36.018774, -110.847624; SE 32.414320, -106.389630
Approx center point lat,long: 32.427379, -110.757822; 35.889167, -106.532206
Secondary Bounding lat,long:
Catalina: NW 32.5630, -100.8480; SE 32.4140, -100.7240Jemez: NW 36.0188, -106.6724; SE 35.7826, -106.3895
Our CZO is located in a forested, mountainous, and wet region of northeastern Puerto Rico. Our research compares two adjacent watersheds, which are underlain by differing bedrock types and exhibit differing weathering characteristics,
NW 18.410405, -65.861106; SE 18.187889, -65.669475
Approx center point lat,long: 18.279715, -65.763837
Soil carbon is the largest terrestrial C store but remains a large source of uncertainty in global climate models due to scaling and process understanding. Reynolds Creek CZO is focused on the quantification of soil carbon and the critical zone processes governing it.
NW 43.312983, -116.859446; SE 43.060888, -116.688138
Approx center point lat,long: 43.205809, -116.749823
Our CZO is a forested, first-order catchment on shale bedrock in a temperate climate. Our research promotes understanding of how the forested catchment evolves over multiple timescales ranging from the meteorological to the geological.
NW 40.731944, -78.073333; SE 40.589444, -77.846759
Approx center point lat,long: 40.65, -77.95
SSCZO is based in the southwestern Sierra Nevada with sites ranging from oak savannah to subalpine forest, crossing the rain-snow transition zone. Research at these sites focuses on water, nutrient, and soil fluxes; and landscape and climate changes cross space and time.
NW 37.739566, -120.061087; SE 36.172095, -118.333915
Approx center point lat,long: 37.056960, -119.195966