Biogeochemical Transformation Pathways through the Land-water Geosphere

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 4:00 PM
Georgia Destouni1, Shilpa M. Asokan1, Anna Augustsson2, Berit Balfors3, Arvid Bring1, Fernando Jaramillo1, Jerker Jarsjo1, Emma Johansson4, John Juston1, Lea Levi1,3, Bo Olofsson3, Carmen Prieto1, Andrew Quin1, Mats Erik Åström2 and Vladimir Cvetkovic3, (1)Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden, (2)Linnaeus University, Kalmar, Sweden, (3)KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, (4)Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Co, Stockholm, Sweden
Water on land undergoes and participates in many biogeochemical exchanges and changes. A bits-and-pieces approach to these may miss essential aspects of change propagation and transformation by land-water through different segments of the Earth system. This paper proposes a conceptualization of the entire land-water geosphere as a scale-free catchment-wise organised system (Figure 1), emphasizing four key new system aspects compared to traditional hydrosphere/water cycle view: i) distinction of coastal divergent in addition to traditional convergent catchments; ii) physical and social-ecological system coupling through four main nodal zones/interfaces (surface, subsurface, coastal, observation); iii) flow-transport pathways as system coupling agents; iv) multiple interactions with the anthroposphere as integral system parts. Utilizing this conceptualization, we identify distinct patterns of direct anthropogenic change in large-scale water and waterborne nutrient fluxes, emerging across different parts of the world. In general, its embedment directly in the anthroposphere/technosphere makes land-water a key geosphere for understanding and monitoring human-driven biogeochemical changes. Further progress in system-level understanding of such changes requires studies of land-water as a continuous yet structured geosphere following the proposed spatiotemporal pathways of change propagation-transformation.