EGU2020-21791, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

From the Critical Zone to decision support tools for China's agriculture

Paul Hallett1 and the China/UK Critical Zone Obervatory Team*
Paul Hallett and the China/UK Critical Zone Obervatory Team
  • 1University of Aberdeen, Institute of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Aberdeen, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (
  • *A full list of authors appears at the end of the abstract

A number of critical zone observatories across China have focussed on human impacts caused by agriculture, particularly the sustainability of soil and water resources.   Using the CZO approach of measuring from the top of vegetation, through soil, to the bedrock below, joint China/UK projects at these CZOs have quantified large pools of previously undocumented nitrogen stored at depth, pathways for water loss and pollutant transport and drivers of accentuated soil erosion.  Socioeconomic studies have found that these challenges to land and water resources tie in well with the concerns of farmers.  In two different regions of China, farmers identified fertilisers as their greatest cost and water availability as their biggest challenge.  Using large data-sets generated over the past 4 years in these projects, we are developing Decision Support Tools (DSTs) underpinned by CZO science that can guide farmers and policy makers.  The work addresses food and water security in the context of climate change and diminishing resources, with an aim to improve livelihoods and sustainable economic development.  We have been guided by a review of over 400 DSTs designed for agriculture and the environment, which have been ranked in terms of their outputs and data requirements.  A goal at the EGU will be to develop links with other CZO projects to help with our DST development.

China/UK Critical Zone Obervatory Team:

UK MEMBERS: Joseph Oyesiku-Blakemore, Jo Smith, Josie Geris, Chris Soulsby - University of Aberdeen; Penny Johnes - University of Bristol; Timothy Quine, Iain Hartley, Ian Bateman - University of Exeter; Ying Zheng, Susan Waldron, Larissa Naylor - University of Glasgow; Andy Binley - University of Lancaster; Steven Banwart, Sarah Dennis, Alexis Comber - University of Leeds; Caroline Meharg, Alexander Meharg - Queen’s University Belfast; Lianhai Wu, Paul Harris, Tom Misselbrook - Rothamsted Research; Tim Daniel - The University of Sheffield; David Oliver - University of Stirling; Mark Hodzon - University of York; CHINA MEMBERS: Ganlin Zhang, Xinhua Peng - Institute of Soil Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Tongxu Liu, Fangbai Li - Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Xuefa Wen, Jing Tian, Laiming Huang, Mingan Shao, Xiaoxu Jia, Xinyu Zhang - Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Xinyu Zhang- Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Chenglong Tu - Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Yunqiang Wang - Institute of Earth Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Yihe Lü - Research Centre for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Yafeng Wang - Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Xianli Xu - Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Yong-Guan Zhu - Institute of Urban Environment,Chinese Academy of Sciences; Jun Fan, Mingbin Huang, Xiaorong Wei, Yuanjun Zhu - Northwest A&F University; Jianwu Tang - Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology; Hongyan Guo - Nanjing University; Fang Huang - University of Science and Technology of China; Si-Liang Li, Zhaoliang Song , Xi Chen - Tianjin University; Yang Yang - Beijing Normal University; Hongyan Liu, Jian Peng - Peking University

How to cite: Hallett, P. and the China/UK Critical Zone Obervatory Team: From the Critical Zone to decision support tools for China's agriculture, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21791,, 2020


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