Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory

A DOE Office of Science User Facility

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Terrestrial & Subsurface Ecosystems

The Terrestrial and Subsurface Ecosystems science theme focuses on the dynamics of nutrients, metabolites, and contaminants at biogeochemical interfaces in heterogeneous environments across multiple scales. By providing a mechanistic understanding of biogeochemical and microbial processes in soils and the subsurface, and linking those processes via pore-scale hydrological models, EMSL can improve strategies for sustainable solutions to contaminant attenuation, remediation and biogeochemical cycling.

EMSL is expanding its focus to include research in the terrestrial ecosystem by creating advanced capabilities to determine the chemical form of natural organic matter in soil and groundwater; developing a mechanistic understanding of the carbon cycle in the terrestrial ecosystem; and improving the linkage of fundamental studies of molecular geochemistry/biogeochemistry to field-scale modeling and predictive studies. EMSL is also developing in situ tomographic imaging capabilities for the study of intact root and nutrient allocation; and expanding its pore- to intermediate-scale capabilities in unsaturated porous media.

Within this science theme, EMSL will employ our research and that of our users for:

  • Hydrobiogeochemical elemental cycling: Develop a molecular-to pore-scale mechanistic understanding of the coupled biogeochemical controls, reactions and elemental cycling to advance a predictive understanding of the feedbacks between the water cycle and ecosystem biogeochemistry and inform biogeochemistry components of earth system models.

Leads

No leads are available at this time.

Instruments

The Bruker Elexsys 580 electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrometer performs continuous wave and pulsed magnetic resonance using electron spins...
Custodian(s): Eric Walter
The SMSAS is a multi-technique surface analysis instrument based on elemental mapping using either scanning small spot X-rays or the electronics in...
Custodian(s): Shuttha Shutthanandan
Systems Configuration and Operational Overview All work involving the following systems and any experiments conducted in EMSL laboratories must be...
Custodian(s): Tamas Varga, Mark Bowden
The W-band pulsed EPR spectrometer, introduced in 2011, is one of only two of its design worldwide. It uses a Quasi-optical bridge and an induction-...
Custodian(s): Eric Walter
The Thermo Scientific™ Q Exactive™ Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer can identify, quantify and confirm more compounds rapidly and with...
Custodian(s): Ron Moore, Mary Lipton

Publications

The mechanisms, pathways, and rates of CO2 and CH4 production are central to understanding carbon cycling and greenhouse gas flux in wetlands....
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) heterostructures exhibit unique properties beyond those of individual components, but their design requires an...
In situ molecular imaging of protein films adsorbed on a solid surface in water was realized by using a vacuum compatible microfluidic interface and...
Although advances in synthesizing hierarchical semiconductor materials, there have been few studies on the fundamental nucleation mechanisms to...
Solid-phase interactions and speciation are important to radioiodine transport in groundwater. At the Hanford Site in Southeastern Washington State...

Science Highlights

Posted: September 10, 2018
The Science In most terrestrial ecosystems, plant growth is limited by nitrogen and phosphorus. Adding either nutrient to the soil usually impacts...
Posted: August 27, 2018
The Science A boon to natural gas production, hydraulic fracturing or fracking introduces surface microbes thousands of feet below the Earth’s...
Posted: August 20, 2018
The Science Microbes deep in the soil influence plant health by releasing potent natural antibiotics such as PCA (phenazine-1-carboxylic acid). PCA-...
Posted: August 13, 2018
The Science One promising approach to stabilize uranium contamination in soils is to envelop the radioactive uranium into iron-bearing minerals like...
Posted: July 16, 2018
The Science Rising temperatures mean permafrost—ground at or below freezing for two or more years— begins thawing, releasing carbon in the form of...

Instruments

Our goal is to explicitly link microbial function for decomposition of soil organic matter to substrate organic chemistry to improve process...

The Terrestrial and Subsurface Ecosystems science theme focuses on the dynamics of nutrients, metabolites, and contaminants at biogeochemical interfaces in heterogeneous environments across multiple scales. By providing a mechanistic understanding of biogeochemical and microbial processes in soils and the subsurface, and linking those processes via pore-scale hydrological models, EMSL can improve strategies for sustainable solutions to contaminant attenuation, remediation and biogeochemical cycling.

EMSL is expanding its focus to include research in the terrestrial ecosystem by creating advanced capabilities to determine the chemical form of natural organic matter in soil and groundwater; developing a mechanistic understanding of the carbon cycle in the terrestrial ecosystem; and improving the linkage of fundamental studies of molecular geochemistry/biogeochemistry to field-scale modeling and predictive studies. EMSL is also developing in situ tomographic imaging capabilities for the study of intact root and nutrient allocation; and expanding its pore- to intermediate-scale capabilities in unsaturated porous media.

Within this science theme, EMSL will employ our research and that of our users for:

  • Hydrobiogeochemical elemental cycling: Develop a molecular-to pore-scale mechanistic understanding of the coupled biogeochemical controls, reactions and elemental cycling to advance a predictive understanding of the feedbacks between the water cycle and ecosystem biogeochemistry and inform biogeochemistry components of earth system models.

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