Scientific Issues

Beyond the diversity of disciplines, measured parameters and models proposed in OZCAR, the overarching common grand scientific questions are the three challenges

1-Dynamic architecture of the Critical Zone:

  • What is the vertical and lateral extent of the Critical Zone?
  • What are the residence and exposure times of water and matter in the diferent compartments?
  • What are the critical zone interfaces? what are the important CZ interfaces?
  • What is the role of biota in the Critical Zone?

2-Biogeochemical cycles, sediment and/or contaminant propagation through the CZ from highlands to sea:

  • Can we better quantify budgets of mass and energy across our CZ observatories?
  • How high frequency sampling can help deciphering CZ functionning?
  • What is the functionnal role of biota?


3-Responses and feedbacks to biological, climatic and geological perturbations and global change. The Earth’s surface dynamic system:

  • How can we use observatories to predict the future of the CZ?
  • How do processes with small characteristic time and limited spatial imprint influence the longer timescales and larger spatial scales?
  • Can we predict CZ trajectories?