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NSF-Funded Critical Zone Observatories

Operating at the watershed scale, Critical Zone Observatories are natural laboratories for investigating the processes that occur at and near the Earth’s surface and that are affected by fresh water. These interconnected processes impact everything from the production of soil to the evolution of biosystems. However, little is known about how these processes are coupled and at what temporal and spatial scales. Research at the CZO scale seeks to understand these couplings and integrations through stream monitoring, climate/weather monitoring and ground water monitoring. CZOs are heavily instrumented for a variety of hydrogeochemical measurements as well as are sampled for soil, canopy and bedrock materials. CZOs also involve teams of cross-disciplinary scientists who have expertise in fields including hydrology, geochemistry, geomorphology, ecology and climatology.

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Site Name Description
Boulder Creek Critical Zone Observatory Weathered profile development in the Rockies Request membership
Boulder Creek Watershed Headwater catchments in Boudler Creek Watershed Join
Christina River Basin CZO An NSF supported CZO established to integrate 3 major processes governing the critical zone: the water cycle, the mineral cycle, and the carbon cycle. Join
Jemez River Basin and Santa Catalina Mountains CZO A developing interdisciplinary observatory in the southwestern US Request membership
Luquillo The Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory (LCZO) will be located in Northeastern Puerto Rico in the USFS Luquillo Experimental Forest and at the USGS WEB Request membership
Reynolds Creek Critical Zone Observatory Reynolds Creek CZO will address the grand challenges of improving prediction of soil carbon storage and fluxes from the pedon to landscape scale. Request membership
SDEG - Sonoran Desert Environmental Gradient Saguaro National Park Request membership
Southern Sierra Critical Zone Observatory Kings River Experimental Watersheds - P300 series nested catchments Request membership
Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory Susquehanna Shale Hills Request membership