The Jemez-Santa Catalina CZO: Transformative Behavior of Water, Energy and Carbon in the Critical Zone: Quantifying Linkages among Ecohydrology, Biogeochemistry, and Landscape Evolution

2011 Fall Cyberseminar Series

Jon Chorover / Jemez-Catalina CZO

Talk Description:

The structure of the critical zone (CZ) is a result of tectonic, lithogenic and climatic forcings that shape the landscape over geological time scales.  In the southwestern US, systematic climate variation follows elevation gradients that extend from low desert basins to forested upland catchments.  We postulate that associated variation in carbon and water flux exerts strong control over CZ evolution, and that quantifying system inputs and fluxes of these constituents leads to predictions of non-linear and threshold effects in CZ structure formation.  We are testing this hypothesis in the Jemez-Santa Catalina CZO, which comprises a pair of observatories situated on granite, rhyolite and schist bedrock - in northern New Mexico and Southern Arizona.