Advancing the understanding of the interactions among dynamic water storage, CZ processes, and water provisioning in western U.S. montane ecosystems
The critical zone is a thin layer at the Earth’s surface where rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms interact.
In the western United States, the critical zone is sensitive to changes in the environment, such as fires or droughts. This project studies how processes in the critical zone respond to changes in the environment. Data are collected from five watersheds along similar latitudes in Colorado and California. The project links the fields of water science, forest ecology, rock chemistry and soil chemistry. The project connects the way water moves and is stored in the ground to how trees grow and to how soil and rocks change. Studying these interactions is important to understanding how Earth will respond to future changes in climate.
Our team consists of researchers from six universities, USGS, and the US EPA. Students are trained in interdisciplinary Earth Science. Educational materials are developed for all grade levels including K-12 and college.