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Meeting the Needs of Interdisciplinary Critical Zone Scientists by Leveraging and Linking Existing Domain Repositories
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  • Jeffery Horsburgh,
  • Kerstin Lehnert,
  • Christopher Calloway,
  • Jerad Bales
Jeffery Horsburgh
Utah State University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Kerstin Lehnert
Columbia University
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Christopher Calloway
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
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Jerad Bales
Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, Inc.
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Critical Zone (CZ) scientists study the system of coupled chemical, biological, physical, and geological processes operating together across all scales to support life at the Earth’s surface (Brantley et al., 2007). In 2020, the U.S. National Science Foundation funded a new network of Thematic Cluster projects who are working collaboratively to answer scientific questions related to effects of urbanization on CZ processes; CZ function in semi-arid landscapes and the role of dust in sustaining these ecosystems; processes in deep bedrock and their relationship to CZ evolution; recovery of the CZ from disturbances such as fire and flooding; and changes in the coastal CZ related to rising sea level. Given the diversity of data being collected by these projects, supporting data collection, access, and archival for the larger network presents significant challenges. Leveraging existing repositories and cyberinfrastructure provides many benefits, but still poses the questions of which repositories to use and how to enable discovery of and access to data that may be deposited across different repositories. This presentation describes new cyberinfrastructure development that leverages existing, domain-specific data repositories to enable managing, curating, disseminating, and preserving data from the new network of CZ Thematic Cluster projects. A distributed architecture is under development that links existing data facilities and services, including HydroShare, EarthChem, SESAR, and eventually other systems as needed, via a CZ Hub that provides tools for simplified data submission, discovery and access, and links to computational resources for data analysis and visualization in support of CZ synthesis efforts. Our goal is to make data, samples, and software collected by the Thematic Cluster projects Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR), using existing domain-specific repositories. This collaboration among repositories to deliver integrated data services for an interdisciplinary science program may provide a template for future development of integrated, interdisciplinary data services. Brantley, S.L., M.B. Goldhaber, V. Ragnarsdottir (2007). Crossing disciplines and scales to understand the Critical Zone. Elements 3, 307-314, doi:10.2113/gselements.3.5.307.