Welcome to Winter Soil Processes

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In cold climate regions, increased winter temperatures caused by climate warming may expose soils to colder temperatures due to loss of the insulating snowpack, increase soil moisture content, and lead to a greater frequency of freeze-thaw events. These factors affect the pore waters present beneath the Earth's surface and their associated hydrological and biogeochemical functions and lead to colder soils in a warming world.

Identifying the biogeochemical drivers such as energy and nutrient delivery on winter microbial community composition, functions and dynamics is critical to establishing a mechanistic understanding of winter biogeochemical cycles.

Future climate uncertainties highlight the need to develop and couple cutting edge-experimental approaches to biogeochemical-hydrological models to identify and predict the major controls on subsurface biogeochemical processes and the associated metabolic potential during the non-growing season.

Field Work


Arash Rafat and Dr. Fereidoun Rezanezhad have co-authored a new paper in Nature’s Communications Earth & Environment projecting carbon emissions from peatlands over the non-growing season for the remainder of the 21st century using machine learning. Check out the paper here!