Articles | Volume 5, issue 4
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 841–860, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-5-841-2017
Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 841–860, 2017
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-5-841-2017

Research article 18 Dec 2017

Research article | 18 Dec 2017

Designing a network of critical zone observatories to explore the living skin of the terrestrial Earth

Susan L. Brantley et al.

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Cited articles

Anderson, S. P., Blum, J., Brantley, S. L., Chadwick, O., Chorover, J., Derry, L. A., Drever, J. I., Hering, J. G., Kirchner, J. W., Kump, L. R., Richter, D., and White, A. F.: Proposed initiative would study Earth's weathering engine, EOS, Transactions of the American Geophysical Union, 85, 265–269, https://doi.org/10.1029/2004EO280001, 2004.
Anderson, S. P., Bales, R. C., and Duffy, C. J.: Critical Zone Observatories: Building a network to advance interdisciplinary study of Earth surface processes, Mineral. Mag., 72, 7–10, https://doi.org/10.1180/minmag.2008.072.1.7, 2008.
Anderson, S. W., Anderson, S. P., and Anderson, R. S.: Exhumation by debris flows in the 2013 Colorado Front Range storm, Geology, 43, 391–394, 2015.
Bales, R. C., Hopmans, J. W., O'Geen, A. T., Meadows, M., Hartsough, P. C., Kirchner, P., Hunsaker, C. T., and Beaudette, D.: Soil moisture response to snowmelt and rainfall in a Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forest, Vadose Zone J., 10, 786–799, 2011.
Banks, E. W., Simmons, C. T., Love, A. J., Cranswick, R., Werner, A. D., Bestland, E. A., Wood, M., and Wilson, T.: Fractured bedrock and saprolite hydrogeologic controls on groundwater/surface-water interaction: A conceptual model (Australia), Hydrogeol. J., 17, 1969–1989, 2009.
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Short summary
The layer known as the critical zone extends from the tree tops to the groundwater. This zone varies globally as a function of land use, climate, and geology. Energy and materials input from the land surface downward impact the subsurface landscape of water, gas, weathered material, and biota – at the same time that differences at depth also impact the superficial landscape. Scientists are designing observatories to understand the critical zone and how it will evolve in the future.