CEE Seminar A Critical Look Into The Critical Zone

Feb 17

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Friday, February 17, 2023 – 12:00PM to 1:00PM

Allen G. Hunt


Allen g. hunt Professor, Wright State University, Department of Physics

The critical zone, with the soil at its center, is
a foundation of life, carbon and nutrient
cycling, and the water cycle. In order to
understand the mathematical foundations of
soil formation, vegetation growth and
productivity, the water balance and effects of
climate change on water resources, it turns
out to be necessary to understand and/or
formulate simultaneously: 1) the physics of
flow and solute transport in porous media, 2)
the chemical basis of weathering, 3) a general
principle of ecology, and use all this to find, 4)
the principal fluxes of hydrology. Let us
examine how the traditional understanding in
all of these disciplines needs revision through
the science of complexity. Here, the proof is
in the predicting, starting with Jenny's soil
forming factors, moving on to solution of the
riddle as to what causes temporal and spatial
variation in tree growth rates, through the
partitioning of water at the Earth's surface
and winding up with streamflow elasticity and
net primary productivity as a function of solar
energy and precipitation.