The LCZO infrastructure, sampling strategy, and integrated data management system are designed to provide a platform whereby collaborators can put geochemical and biogeochemical studies into a geomorphic and hydrologic perspective. The basic infrastructure of the LCZO is an integrated set of sampling sites that are built upon existing study sites that have long-term and ongoing records of rainfall, throughfall, litterfall, and streamflow.
The LCZO infrastructure, sampling strategy, and integrated data management system are designed to provide a platform whereby collaborators can put geochemical and biogeochemical studies into a geomorphic and hydrologic perspective. The basic infrastructure of the LCZO is an integrated set of sampling sites that are built upon existing study sites that have long-term and ongoing records of rainfall, throughfall, litterfall, and streamflow (Schellekens et al 2004, Peters et al 2006, Heartsill et al 2007, Wei et al 2007). The atmospheric sampling nodes consist of 8 weather stations and an additional 8 rain gages that monitor climatic and geochemical inputs to the different lithologies and forest types across a precipitation gradient that ranges from 1000 mm/yr to 5000 mm/yr. Soil and deep weathering nodes consist of a sampled network of soils on the various lithologies and forest types and monitored hillslope catena’s that are underlain by VC and GD lithologies (Table 2). Soil and regolith water and gas samples are sampled using suction samplers installed according to our previous studies and CZEN standards. Aquatic nodes of the observatory focus on quantifying the fluxes of water, sediment, and solutes from the basin and how they are transformed as they move from pore spaces in the lithologic matrix to the coastal zone. These nodes include 8 stream gages and numerous georeferenced cross-sections and riparian sampling sites. A major limitation to previous studies has been the ability to monitor storm events and temporal variations in exports. To overcome this limitation, the LCZO is adding sensors to the existing stream gages to obtain continuous records of conductivity, and temperature.
Water chemistry is sampled weekly and on a campaign basis and will be processed at the USGS WEBB laboratories and at the University of New Hampshire. While the water chemistry at most of the proposed aquatic sampling nodes has been sampled before, sampling frequency has been erratic and the actual data is stored in different ways and at different institutions. The LCZO is ameliorating this situation by developing a centralized data management archive where researchers can access existing data and share the new data they collect.
30 Oct 2017 - Water Resources Research published a new special collection in September 2017 featuring concentration-discharge research from multiple CZOs.
06 Apr 2017 - 2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society.
17 Nov 2017 - Over the millennia, the tropical woodland known today as El Yunque National Forest has been pummeled by rains and rocked by hurricanes. But the...
05 Oct 2017 - Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico. The Category 4 storm destroyed thousands of homes, businesses, bridges, communication towers, the entire...
05 Oct 2017 - The world’s rainforests absorb 30 percent of human-produced carbon dioxide. Plants take up the CO2 through photosynthesis and release it...
27 Oct 2016 - A pioneering research project is aiming to determine how forests in the Amazon, the Congo and elsewhere in the tropics will reacting to rising tempera
08 Dec 2015 - El Yunque in Puerto Rico may provide answers in the battle against climate change
We are located within El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, surrounded by tropical rainforests representative of many Caribbean island ecosystems. Research at El Verde focuses on forest dynamics, stream ecology and hydrology, and ecosystem processes. Most research is conducted by the Luquillo Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) program, LCZO and by scientists from the University of Puerto Rico and universities in mainland US.
0-1075 m elevation, 1000-5000 mm/yr
The Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory (LCZO) is located in Luquillo Mountains of northeastern Puerto Rico. This Includes El Yunque National Forest, Rio Mameyes and Rio Blanco watersheds, surrounding coastal plains and nearby urbanized areas such as the San Juan metro area, Luquillo and Fajardo.
3.26338502 km2, 0-1043 m elevation, 3080 mm/yr
Large Instrumented river drains the majority of the south side of the Luquillo Mountains, underline with a granodirite bedrock. Sandy river bed with large boulders. Instrumentation includes multiple gagued streams, lysimeter fields, climate stations, water chemistry sampling as well as other event based and field campaign sampling.
-1028 m elevation,
618-775 m elevation,
The Rio Mameyes flows in a northerly direction and has outstanding scenic, biological, recreation and historic values. The Rio Mameyes watershed covers 6.88 square miles within the forest, or 10.4% of the forest. Water quality is optimum within the study area of the upper segment, since the entire corridor is located in the Baño de Oro Natural Area and no development exist. Due to steep slopes, no significant flood plains occur. There are approximately 73 acres of riparian wetlands along the Rio Mameyes designated segments.
265-460 m elevation,