SP20: Carbonate Critical Zone Research Coordination Network Workshop Report

SP20: Carbonate Critical Zone Research Coordination Network Workshop Report

This electronic publication (preprint version) is Special Publication 20 from the Karst Waters Institute, consisting of the findings of workshop convenors and other workshop attendees.

Executive Summary: Research into Earth’s critical zone has been coordinated through Critical Zone Observatories (CZO) and recently in the U.S. through Critical Zone Networks (CZN). All CZOs and CZNs focus on landscapes underlain by bedrock composed predominantly silicate minerals, which limits similar coordinated studies of the approximately 15% of Earth’s landscape composed of nearly pure carbonate minerals. Consequently, this Carbonate Critical Zone Research Coordination Network (RCN) was developed to coordinate, support, and enhance the community of people with interests in the critical zone where bedrock consists largely of carbonate minerals, as well as landscapes with bedrock of mixed silicate and carbonate minerals. The RCN began with an inaugural workshop, described here, that aimed to expand the community, connect people within the community, and initiate discussions to identify key research directions. The workshop was held as a series of virtual sessions between August 3 and September 29, 2020 and was attended by 70 participants with a range of backgrounds, experiences, and career stages. The workshop began and ended with three-hour virtual plenary sessions. Six subsets of participants met between the plenary sessions in working group sessions that were organized by themes related to critical zone characteristics. Working groups included 7 to 11 participants who were chosen to maximize demographic and career stage diversity. Working groups were charged with (1) developing a prioritized list of research questions, describing their importance, and identifying missing data that would be needed to address the questions, and (2) brainstorming ideas, actions, and resources for fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the RCN and geoscience community. Each working group developed and synthesized three or four research questions. All questions from the working groups were synthesized in the plenary session into 22 primary questions that clustered into five key research directions. Participants at the final plenary session refined the research directions to support future activities of the RCN. The research directions provide a framework for continued working groups activities aimed at addressing specific research questions and strategies, data needs, and identify relevant extant data available to answer questions. Working group outcomes will be the focus of the next major workshop tentatively scheduled for spring 2022 in Florida.

Preprint. ISBN Number TBA. Electronically published.

Free download (KWI Special Publication 20) (.pdf)

Recommended Citation: Martin, J. B. and CCZ-RCN Workshop Participants (2021). Carbonate Critical Zone Research Coordination Network Workshop Report. Karst Waters Institute Special Publication 20. Leesburg, Virginia, Karst Waters Institute.