UA Awarded $4.35M to Study Earth’s Critical Zone

Researchers examine and photograph a cross-section of soil exposed within an excavation pit at the Valles Caldera National Preserve, N.M. From L to R: Scott Compton, hydrologist with Valles Caldera National Preserve; Jon Chorover, a UA professor of soil, water and environmental science; and Craig Rassmussen, a UA assistant professor of soil, water and environmental science.
Researchers examine and photograph a cross-section of soil exposed within an excavation pit at the Valles Caldera National Preserve, N.M. From L to R: Scott Compton, hydrologist with Valles Caldera National Preserve; Jon Chorover, a UA professor of soil, water and environmental science; and Craig Rassmussen, a UA assistant professor of soil, water and environmental science.

The zone from the treetops to the bottom of the groundwater table has been dubbed the “Critical Zone” because of its key role in processing and cycling water, carbon and nutrients necessary for life.

An interdisciplinary team of researchers has established a “Critical Zone Observatory” [CZO] in the Southwest with the help of a five-year, $4.35 million grant to the University of Arizona from the National Science Foundation.

Date released: 
Aug 5 2010
Contact: 
Jon Chorover