Biosphere 2 To Host Large-Scale Weather Experiment

By on June 23, 2016

Land Evolution Observatory hillslope (Credit: Paul M. Ingram/Biosphere 2)

This summer, a first of its kind experiment seeks to shed light on chemical weathering, according to a New Scientist article. Biosphere 2, an artificial ecosystem in the Arizona desert, will host a large-scale study to increase understanding of how water moves through the landscape.

To create Biosphere 2’s landscape, three massive hills were built out of pulverized volcanic rock. During the experiment, mechanical rain will be turned on every three days. The hills are outfitted with sensors that will track water content and carbon dioxide levels. After a year, plants will be added to the dome.

The experiment will allow scientists to observe chemical weathering on a large scale.  Researchers hope the project will  provide better understanding of groundwater as we face increased occurrences of floods and droughts.

Land Evolution Observatory hillslope (Credit: Paul M. Ingram/Biosphere 2)

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