Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientist uses geological observatories to monitor the health of soils

Date:
June 17, 2010
Source:
University of Tennessee at Knoxville
Summary:
Erosion and weathering can hinder soil's ability to maintain a nutritional balance -- a process crucial to maintaining life around the globe. One scientist is investigating how soil interacts with its environment and changes over both a short-term and geological time scale to shed light on the potential renewability of soil.

Humans need plants to survive, and plants need soil. But what happens when human, geological and climatic activity alters soil composition and structure and diminishes the amount of fertile land available?

Erosion and weathering can hinder the soil's ability to maintain a nutritional balance -- a process crucial to maintaining life around the globe.

"Our sustenance is all based on the soil, and yet we lose soil every day to erosion," said Susan Brantley, a professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. "It's important for us to understand how the soil is formed in the first place."

Brantley's research was featured at the Goldschmidt Conference hosted by the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A worldwide network of field research sites takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying Earth's "critical zone," the multi-layered region from groundwater to vegetation canopy. Understanding how the soil interacts with its environment and changes over both a short-term and geological time scale offers insight into the potential renewability of soil.

Funding for United States observatories in this "Critical Zone Exploration Network" is granted by the National Science Foundation. Brantley was a pioneer in setting up the network and conducts research at one of the first observatories to receive a grant, the Susquehanna Shale Hills observatory in Pennsylvania.

Here, Brantley and her team are investigating why the soil contains an unusually high amount of manganese. Using data gathered from other critical zone observatories across the states, she and her colleagues are discovering a correlation between nearby industrial facilities and this excess manganese in the soil.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "Scientist uses geological observatories to monitor the health of soils." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100617102404.htm>.
University of Tennessee at Knoxville. (2010, June 17). Scientist uses geological observatories to monitor the health of soils. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100617102404.htm
University of Tennessee at Knoxville. "Scientist uses geological observatories to monitor the health of soils." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100617102404.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Awesome New Camouflage Sheet Was Inspired By Octopus Skin

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Scientists have developed a new device that mimics the way octopuses blend in with their surroundings to hide from dangerous predators. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

Disquieting Times for Malaysia's 'fish Listeners'

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Malaysia's last "fish listeners" -- practitioners of a dying local art of listening underwater to locate their quarry -- try to keep the ancient technique alive in the face of industrial trawling and the depletion of stocks. Duration: 02:29 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

USDA Cracks Down On Imports From Foreign Puppy Mills

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New USDA measures to regulate dog imports aim to crack down on buying dogs from overseas puppy mills. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Bone Marrow Drug Regrows Hair In Some Alopecia Patients

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) Researchers performed an experiment using an FDA-approved drug known as ruxolitinib. They found it to be successful in the majority of patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins