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National Science Foundation (USA) 2008

Upgrade of Weighing Lysimeter Facility for Studying Ecosystem and Vadose Zone Dynamics in Arid Environments

Lysimeter Ecosytem Vadose

NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Titre : Upgrade of Weighing Lysimeter Facility for Studying Ecosystem and Vadose Zone Dynamics in Arid Environments

Organismes NSF : Division of Earth Sciences (EAR)

Durée : September 15, 2008 - December 31, 2010

Description
This proposal seeks funding to upgrade the Weighing Lysimeter Facility at the University of Arizona. The facility is designed to measure plant water uptake and solute transport and will teaching, research and outreach. The currently-configured facility (built in the early 1990s) has three 45,000 kg lysimeters which can be weighed with an accuracy of ±200g. Due to long use, the system is currently in need of repair for corrosion damage, recalibration and upgrades to provide data logging and modern sensor capabilities. The upgraded system will allow research on soil hydrogeologic processes in arid environments which comprise a considerable area of the US southwest. The facility will be used to study the coupled ecosystem and soil hydrological processes - at the mesoscale. The sustainability of water resources in arid environments will be evaluated in collaboration with researchers at the Desert Research Institute (DRI). Vegetation and hydrologic responses to varying precipitation patters will be evaluated in different desert environments (e.g. Majove vs. Sonoran desert). The facility will interface with large-scale studies at the University of Arizona ?s Biosphere 2 which will be instrumental in predicting landscape processes. The upgrade will consist of repairs, instrumenting real-time lysimeter data streams, producing a web resource which will create an Instructional Environmental Observatory (IEO), and create a foundation for collaborative research on coupled soil hydrological and ecosystem processes in arid environments. Funding will be shared with PIs’ startup monies. A part-time technician will be provided by the Department of Soil, Water & Environmental Science. Water issues in the desert southwest carry tremendous societal impacts. Pumping rates in arid regions vastly exceed recharge rates for sensitive aquifers. Education and outreach will be fostered through the creation of an IEO accessible by undergraduate and graduate students through research efforts and through courses in Soil & Environmental Sciences, Hydrology, Ecology, Natural Resources, and Engineering. The IEO will also be made available to the public and environment stakeholders

Partenaires : Markus Tuller mtuller cals.arizona.edu (Principal Investigator) Marcel Schaap (Co-Principal Investigator) Craig Rasmussen (Co-Principal Investigator) Travis Huxman (Co-Principal Investigator)

Financement : $296,074.00

Présentation (National Science Foundation)

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