Surface Processes under Extreme Weather: Integrated Observation Research of Climate, Land, and Ocean

Research Objectives

  • Use seismic noise, image observation technology and chemical analysis to construct a short-term spatial and temporal evolution of the basin topography and explore the impact of weather factors.
  • Explore the impact of physical erosion and chemical weathering on the atmospheric carbon dioxide budget.

Research Highlights

P-Alert accelerometers installed in Taiwan (photo provided by eTrans)

Prof. Yih-Min Wu from NTU RCFE and San Lien Technology Corp developed low-cost P-Alert accelerometers. Within eight years, a total of 700 P-Alert accelerometers were installed in elementary and junior high schools. They have not only been successfully put to use in earthquakes with a magnitude over 6 in recent years, but also been exported to Southeast Asia, Nepal, India, New Zealand and other countries to assist earthquake-prone areas in the world to develop early warning systems.

Prof. Li-Hung Lin from NTU RCFE joined the international research team including Princeton University and other world’s leading research institutes and top universities. The team integrated 3,800 microbial count data from the underground environment of land reaching a depth of more than 3,000 meters. Database of global surface temperature, heat flow, crustal type, etc. were combined to construct the relation between microbial density and depth under consideration of different factors like temperature and rock type. The number of microorganisms living in terrestrial underground environment around the globe was obtained, which was 2-6*10^29 cells. It approximately equals to 23-31 Pg pf carbon. It is a more accurate estimate, several times lower than that of past studies, which indicates the organic matter content of rocks or the density of suspended microorganisms in groundwater cannot serve as an indicator of microbial density at a specific depth.

The research has been the most comprehensive and systematic integrated analysis of terrestrial biosphere in underground environment. It reveals the deficiencies of discussing the role microorganisms play in the earth as well. The results were published in Nature Geoscience.

To read the article: The biomass and biodiversity of the continental subsurface

Other Core Research Themes

Theme 1

Climate and Environmental Change

Theme 3

Environmental Pollution

Theme 4

Social-ecological System