EGU24-13395, updated on 09 Mar 2024
EGU General Assembly 2024
© Author(s) 2024. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Exploring Earth's Critical Zone Through the U.S. Critical Zone Collaborative Network

Elizabeth W. Boyer1, Bhavna Arora2, Emma Aronson3, Holly Barnard4, Steven Holbrook5, Jeffery S. Horsburgh6, Lixin Jin7, Praveen Kumar8, Holly Michael9, Jeff Munroe10, Julia Perdrial11, Claire Welty12, and Jordan Read13
Elizabeth W. Boyer et al.
  • 1Penn State University, University Park, PA, United States of America
  • 2Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • 3Univeristy of California, Riverside
  • 4University of Colorado
  • 5Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • 6Utah State University
  • 7University of Texas, El Paso
  • 8University of Illinois
  • 9University of Delaware
  • 10Middlebury College
  • 11University of Vermont
  • 12University of Maryland, Baltimore County
  • 13Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.

The Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) is a national research initiative in the United States supporting investigations of the Earth's critical zone (CZ) -- the vital near-surface environment extending from the top of the vegetation canopy to the weathered bedrock beneath. CZ Net fosters collaboration, data sharing, and interdisciplinary research to understand complex landscapes. The network comprises nine thematic clusters covering diverse geological, climatic, and land use settings. The thematic clusters explore many areas, including bedrock geology's effects on landscapes and ecosystems, ecosystem responses to climate and land-use disturbances, processes occurring between land and sea affected by sea-level rise, land-water interactions in agricultural regions, water and carbon cycles in arid regions, the impact of mineral dust transported in the atmosphere on ecosystems, water storage's influence on landscape and ecosystem processes, relationships between landscapes and microbial communities, and ecosystem processes in cities. A coordinating hub provides cross-cluster support. In the presentation, we introduce CZ Net and the focal research areas of each thematic cluster. We consider synthesis work addressing environmental challenges faced by the CZ, which is under increasing pressure to meet societal needs while safeguarding the environment for future generations. Further, we discuss opportunities for engagement with the network, reflecting CZ Net's dedication to advancing knowledge and addressing critical environmental issues through collaborative efforts. International coordination through developing a network of networks can foster collaborative research that transcends national boundaries, allowing scientists to combine expertise, data, and resources for a deeper understanding of CZ processes. Such collaboration is imperative for addressing pressing global environmental challenges.

How to cite: Boyer, E. W., Arora, B., Aronson, E., Barnard, H., Holbrook, S., Horsburgh, J. S., Jin, L., Kumar, P., Michael, H., Munroe, J., Perdrial, J., Welty, C., and Read, J.: Exploring Earth's Critical Zone Through the U.S. Critical Zone Collaborative Network, EGU General Assembly 2024, Vienna, Austria, 14–19 Apr 2024, EGU24-13395,, 2024.