The critical zone comprises the Earth's permeable near-surface layer from the top of the canopy to the bottom of the groundwater. It is the zone where hydrosphere, atmosphere, pedosphere and geosphere interact with the biosphere. This fragile skin of our planet, which supports the life and survival of humans maintaining food production and drinking water quality, is endangered by threats such as climate change and land use change.
New approaches and innovative modeling strategies are needed to understand these complex interactions between hydrological, biogeochemical cycles and human resilience processes that may govern critical zone system dynamics, including sources, dynamics and chemistry of water, models to quantify external influences like human activities or erosion, weathering rate, water transfer in the frame of global change and biolological feedback mechanisms.
This session focuses on the advancing proxies that may address pressing interdisciplinary scientific questions in coupling various disciplines like hydrology, soil science and biogeochemistry that cover single-site investigations, targeted experiments, remote sensing studies, large data compilations and modelling. This will be illustrated in this session through studies regarding the critical zone as a whole or within its different compartments, including the different environmental processes (geological, physical, chemical, and biological), their couplings and reactive transport modeling, and exploring the cities resilience.
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