Packet 1 Notes.docx

Packet 1 Notes.docx - Packet 1 Earths Critical Zone is that...

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Packet 1 Earth’s Critical Zone is that the portion of the planet extending from the top of the tallest vegetation to the bottom of groundwater. Components: bedrock, water, soil, terrestrial organisms, and the near-earth atmosphere; which interact to create the life-essential resources of the planet. Soils are at the heart of Earth’s Critical Zone and most strongly interact with the other components. Soil envelopes all other critical zone components: atmosphere- atmospheric gases exchange with soil gases; hydrosphere- water percolates through and is retained by the soil; geosphere- rocks weather to release dissolved mineral elements into the soil; biosphere- roots extend into the soil and multitude of organisms live within the soil. Together with the other components of Earth’s Critical Zone, soil participates in the: water cycle, carbon cycle, oxygen cycle, many plant nutrient cycles, geologic cycle, surface thermal energy exchange.
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