We study how erosion and weathering control Critical Zone architecture and evolution, concentrating on slope, climate, ecosystems, and rock properties.
Boulder Creek CZO is one of six NSF- supported environmental observatories focusing on how water, atmosphere, ecosystems, & soils interact and shape the Earth's surface.
The "Critical Zone" lies between rock and sky. It is essential to life - including human food production - and helps drive Earth's carbon cycle, climate change, stream runoff, and water
Together with our counterpart observatories, we're helping determine how the Critical Zone operates and evolves - including a predictive ability for how it will respond to projected changes in climate and land use. We serve the international scientific community through research, infrastructure, data, and models.
Boulder Canyon in the 1870s:
The creek never slackens. Amber and white and black in the arrested spaces, it whirls under the bridges and round the corners, doubles on itself, leaps over and high above a hundred rocks in a rod, breaks into sheafs and showers of spray, foams and shines and twinkles and glistens; and if there be any other thing which water at its swiftest and sunniest can do, that it does also, even to jumping rope with rainbows.
And I must not forget that there are gardens all the way down….
Bowlder Canyon (download pdf) in "Bits of Travel at Home", by H.H. Jackson, published 1878 by Roberts Brothers, Boston