Hornfels Weathering

Project Description: 

Sue Brantley, Heather Buss, Tim White

Regolith development on volcaniclastics metamorphosed to hornfels facies will be investigated. We will sample and analyze chemistry and mineralogy of soils and regolith down to bedrock as a function of elevation from the East Peak-West Peak ridge down to the unmetamorphosed sediments in the Icacos watershed along a catena. We will also measure corestone size along the catena. The goal is to understand the chemical weathering of the hornfels and how it differs from the unmetamorphosed volcaniclastics.

The Sulfur Cycle Along a Rainfall Gradient and its Behavior at the Limits of Life

Project Description: 

The cycling of sulfur in soils (inputs, in-soil processes and outputs) will be investigated at three locations with very different mean annual precipitation: Puerto Rico, Santa Cruz (CA) and the Atacama Desert (Chile). In Puerto Rico we will analyze rainwater inputs, reduced sulfur gaseous emissions, plant litter and bulk soils for concentration and isotopic composition of the various sulfur compounds, in order to understand the cycling of sulfur at the wet end of the rainfall spectrum.

Production of a quality-controlled, spatially and temporally comprehensive Puerto Rico sea-level database

Project Description: 

Despite the importance of the Caribbean, only one study compiled all available RSL data (consisting of the sea-level tracking coral Acropora palmata and intertidal Rhizophora mangle peat) to date for the region. Toscano and Macintyre (2003) presented a western Atlantic sea-level (WASL) curve for the Holocene (11 cal kyrs – 400 cal yrs BP) bracketed below by the shallowly-submerged coral field and above by the mangrove peat field at or above sea level.

Research Location: 
Core Area(s) and/or Keywords: 

coastal
paleoclimate
sea level

The reconstruction of Holocene sea level and paleoenvironmental change

Project Description: 

Sea-level changes on the time-scale of decades to millennia are driven, predominantly, by changes in climate. The recent transition of the earth system from a glacial to interglacial state produced a dramatic global sea-level response. Puerto Rico is distant from the major glaciation centers, thus is characterized by a sea-level rise of ~120 m since the Last Glacial Maximum due, largely, to the influx of glacial meltwater to the oceans.

Research Location: 
Core Area(s) and/or Keywords: 

Coastal
Biogeochemistry

Collection of new sea-level data from mangrove peats involving a complete suite of paleoenvironmental indices

Project Description: 

We will analyze a comprehensive suite of geological and biological data from coastal systems within the Luquillo Critical Zone Observatory to reconstruct sea-level change at higher levels of paleoenvironmental resolution and analytical precision than previously achieved (deci-centimeter to meter scale vertical resolution and annual to centennial scale age resolution).

Research Location: 
Core Area(s) and/or Keywords: 

Coastal
Paleoclimate

Stabilization of soil organic matter in contrasting parent materials

Project Description: 

Critical zone processes contributing to soil development over the contrasting bedrock parent materials in the Luquillo Mountains has resulted in significant differences important to organic C quantity and soil organic matter (SOM) quality. Similar vegetation cover at sites on contrasting slope positions or underlying lithology will likely generate similar surface litter. Once this litter enters the soil, however, we ask: 1) will the resultant SOM be chemically distinct or is it simply protected differently?

Core Area(s) and/or Keywords: 

soil, litter, soil organic matter, organic carbon, carbon, parent material

Data Sets: 

Luquillo Mountains Stream Flow

Project Description: 

This project tracks stream flow data collected across the Luquillo Mountains of Puerto Rico.

Research Location: 
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