Published: April 13, 2020
Dr. Pamela Sullivan

Please join CWEST for a Distinguished Seminar by Dr. Pamela Sullivan on Wednesday, April 15th, 11am-12pm, via Zoom teleconference. Dr. Sullivan is an Associate Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University. Her talk is titled "Subsurface Plumbing: Is it responding to climate and land use changes in the Anthropocene?" Read her abstract for more information.


The degree to which subsurface architecture – pores space and connectivity—fluctuates and/or evolves is largely ignored in predictions of how Earth’s critical zone can respond to changes in biotic processes (direct and indirect) in the Anthropocene. Specifically, changes in microbial carbon decomposition rates and root growth can influence the generation of macropores, whose porosity accounts for only ~2% of the subsurface but accounts for ~70% of water transmitted to depth. We argue that the community needs to consider that changes in the subsurface structure throttles the partitioning of water, and thus the fluxes of carbon, nutrients, and weathering products. Using empirical data and modeling we explore this connectivity between biotic processes (e.g., root growth, carbon turn over) and subsurface pore structure from the pedon to the continental scale, quantifying the impact of this interaction on stocks and fluxes of water and nutrients.

CWEST Distinguished Seminars are held in conjunction with the Hydrology and Water Resources seminar series as well as INSTAAR seminar series.