Soil, Water, and Environmental Physics Across Scales Grant uri icon


  • Soil is the most crucial component in supporting life on Earths terrestrial surface. Soils transform and supply water, energy, nutrients, and organic materials and moderate release of water, nutrient and chemical needs for plants. Soil is where biological and chemical transformations occur, and it is the domain that sustains all flora and fauna ecosystem cycles. Although public awareness of the role of soils is meager, upholding and sustaining soil functions ought to be among the highest priorities of our society. Meanwhile, changing societal food and energy demands, land use and climatic conditions are imposing ever greater stresses on soil. The protection and stewardship of this crucial resource can be only assured through a better understanding of soil processes at different space and time scales.Soil physics plays a critical role in understanding soil resources, and it has made outstanding progress in recent years considering soil as a homogeneous porous medium composed of various primary and secondary particle sizes. Storage, redistribution, transport and transformation processes of water, heat and chemicals are understood for relatively small-scale systems. However, Nielsen (1997) stated with regard to the vadose zone, it is there but nobody cares. Since then, much has been learned and documented in the Vadose Zone Journal among other esteemed outlets. Despite considerable scientific advances, knowledge gaps still remain in measurement and modeling, transfer across spatio-temporal scales, and multidisciplinary integration of results.This project seeks to fill these gaps by developing new technologies for measuring transport, transfer, rate and state variables using comprehensive experimental designs that will yield appropriate scaling approaches. We will develop new measurement tools and process statistical structures for both measurements and processes essential for investigating soil ecosystem processes...........

date/time interval

  • 2019