The Biosphere 2. (Credit: University of Arizona)
The Biosphere 2 at the University of Arizona is no ordinary research space. That’s in part because of its legacy as the home of the famous experiments it has supported, but also because of some new additions to its capabilities in recent years by crews at U. of Arizona.
It is home to three new identical hill slopes, each contained within a green steel structure. Underneath these are giant scales that can measure changes in weight from runoff or the addition of plants.
Each slope is equipped with 1,800 sensors and sampling devices residing within or above each landscape. The sensors monitor variables such as carbon and energy-cycling processes, and the physical and chemical evolution of the landscapes.
Construction of the new hill slopes was completed in 2012 and required more than 500 tons of rock for each one.
Top image: The Biosphere 2. (Credit: University of Arizona)