Skip to main content

Frontiers in Exploration of the Critical Zone

Posted in

Publication Type:



Report of a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation, p.30 (2006)




The surface of the Earth is rapidly changing, largely in response to anthropogenic perturbation. How will such change unfold, and how will it affect humankind? The Critical Zone is defined as the external terrestrial layer extending from the outer limits of vegetation down to and including the zone of groundwater. This zone sustains most terrestrial life on the planet. Despite its importance for life, scientific approaches and funding paradigns have not promoted and emphasized integrated research agendas to investigate the coupling between physical, biological, geological, and chemical processes in the Critical Zone.


October 24-26, 2005, Newark, DE, 30p.