Laboratories

Geochemical

The biogeochemistry laboratory at Biosphere 2 is used to study chemical processes in soils and sediments as influenced by flowing water, plants, and microorganisms. The main focus of the lab is to support work in the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO).

Biogeochemistry laboratory is equipped with all necessary equipment needed to process a large number of samples that LEO is generating (chemical hoods, ovens, centrifuge, autoclave, muffle furnace, source of ultra-pure water, analytical and table top balances, pH and conductivity meter, soil sampling equipment, mortars/pestles and sieves to prepare samples for analyses). 

The biogeochemistry laboratory has a range of equipment for liquid and solid phase analysis, including

  1. Shimadzu TOC-L Series Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and nitrogen analyzer equipped with auto-sampler for water samples (TOC-LCSH), and a SSM-5000A unit for analysis of solid samples;
  2. Dionex UltiMate 3000 ultra high precision liquid chromatograph with enhanced quaternary analytical pump, autosampler with integrated column compartment, and diode array detector for determining concentrations of organic compounds in solution;
  3. ICS 5000 ion chromatography system with dual capabilities for carbohydrates, aminoacids, cations and/or anions, including auto-sampler, capillary and analytical pumps, conductivity and electrochemical detectors, and eluent generators for both pumps;
  4. Agilent gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) system (Agilent 7890A GC  and Agilent 5975C Inert XL MSD with triple axis detector).

These capabilities allow us determining availability of nutrients to the plants, exudation of a range of compounds by the plants in response to environmental drivers, release and transport of lithogenic elements through the soils, among many other applications. The laboratory also has high-capacity equipment for conducting flow-through column experiments, including a Master Flex peristaltic pump and Teledyne ISCO Foxy 200 automatic sampler/fraction collector. 

In addition to supporting LEO and other Biosphere 2 research, we also provide hands on experience and training using many different instruments in the lab for researchers and students interested in soil and water chemistry, and provide state of the art analytical services for other University of Arizona units.

For additional information please contact Dr. Katerina Dontsova, Director of Biosphere 2 Biogeochemistry laboratory, or Edward Hunt, Laboratory Coordinator who manages the lab (phone: (520) 838-6186).

 

Publications

2017 (Published)

Ecosystem Composition Controls the Fate of Rare Earth Elements during Incipient Soil Genesis . Zaharescu, D. G., Burghelea, C. I., Dontsova, K., Presler, J. K., Maier, R. M., Huxman, T., Domanik, K. J., Hunt, E. A., Amistadi, M. K., Gaddis, E. E., Palacios-Menendez, M. A., Vaquera-Ibarra, M. O. and Chorover, J. (2017): Scientific Reports 7: 43208.

2017 (Published)

Column transport studies of 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) in soils . Mark, N., Arthur, J., Dontsova, K., Brusseau, M., Taylor, S., Simunek, J. (2017): Chemosphere 171: 427–434.

2017 (Published)

Batch soil adsorption and column transport studies of 2,4-dinitroanisole (DNAN) in soils . Arthur, J. D., Mark, N. W., Taylor, S., Šimunek, J., Brusseau, M. L., Dontsova, K. M. (2017): Journal of Contaminant Hydrology 199: 14–23.

2016 (Published)

Pore water chemistry reveals gradients in mineral transformation across a model basaltic hillslope . Pohlmann, M., Dontsova, K., Root, R., Ruiz, J., Troch, P., and Chorover, J. (2016): Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems 17(6): 2054–2069.

2016 (Published)

The Effects of Rain on Elemental Transport in Soils . Schoenfeld, L.K., Hunt, E.A., Dontsova, K.M. (2016): STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Program Posters.

2016 (Published)

Soil Lysimeter Excavation for Coupled Hydrological, Geochemical, and Microbiological Investigations . Sengupta, A. Wang, Y., Meira-Neto, A.A., Matos, K.A., Dontsova, K., Root, R., Neilson, J.W., Maier, R.M., Chorover, J., and Troch, P.A. (2016): Journal of Visualized Experiments 115: e54536.

2016 (Published)

Adsorption and attenuation behavior of 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) in eleven soils . Mark, N., Arthur, J., Dontsova, K., Brusseau, M., Taylor, S. (2016): Chemosphere 144: 1249–1255.

2015 (Published)

Dissolution of three insensitive munitions formulations . Taylor, S., Park, E., Bullion, K., Dontsova, K. (2015): Chemosphere 119: 342–348.

2015 (Published)

Outdoor dissolution of detonation residues of three insensitive munitions (IM) formulations . Taylor, S., Dontsova, K., Walsh, M. E., Walsh, M. R. (2015): Chemosphere 134: 250–256.

2015 (Published)

Mineral nutrient mobilization by plants from rock: influence of rock type and arbuscular mycorrhiza . Burghelea, C., Zaharescu, D. G., Dontsova, K., Maier, R., Huxman, T., Chorover J. (2015): Biogeochemistry 124(1): 187-203.

2015 (Published)

Seven Anion Comparison for the Center and West Hill Slope Systems in the Landscape Evolution Observatory (LEO) Project . Corrigan, S.C., Hunt, E.A., Dontsova, K.M. (2015): STAR (STEM Teacher and Researcher) Program Posters.

2014 (Published)

Dissolution of NTO, DNAN and Insensitive Munitions Formulations and their Fates in Soils . Dontsova, K., Taylor, S., Pesce-Rodriguez, R., Brusseau, M., Arthur, J., Mark, N., Walsh, M., Lever, J., Simunek, J. (2014): Interim Report ERDC/CRREL TR-14-23. Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH, pp. 92.

2014 (Published)

Impact of organic carbon on weathering and chemical denudation of granular basalt . Dontsova, K., Zaharescu, D., Henderson, W., Verghese, S., Perdrial, N., Hunt, E., Chorover, J. (2014): Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 139: 508–526.

2014 (Published)

Cracking the Code of Soil Genesis. The Early Role of Rare Earth Elements . Zaharescu, D., Dontsova, K., Burghelea, C., Maier, R., Huxman, T., Chorover, J. (2014): Abstract B32D-03 presented at 2014 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 15-19 Dec.

2014

Reactive Transport Modelling of Mineral Evolution in the Biosphere 2 Hillslope Experiment . Wu, R., Niu, G.-Y., Steefel, C., Paniconi, C., Chorover, J., Dontsova, K., Troch, P. (2014): Abstract H53A-0843 presented at 2014 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, CA, 15-19 Dec.

2013 (Published)

Insights into the dissolution and the three-dimensional structure of insensitive munitions formulations . Taylor, S., Ringelberg, D. B., Dontsova, K., Daghlian, C. P., Walsh, M. E., Walsh, M. R. (2013): Chemosphere 93: 1782–1788.

2012 (Published)

Abiotic Factors Shape Microbial Diversity in Sonoran Desert Soils . Andrew, D. R., Fitak, R.R., Munguia-Vega, A., Racolta, A., Martinson, V. G., and Dontsova, K. (2012): Applied and Environmental Microbiology 78(21): 7527-7537.

2012 (Published)

Dissolution Rate of Propellant Energetics from Nitrocellulose Matrices . Taylor, S., Dontsova, K., Bigl, S., Richardson, C., Lever, J., Pitt J., Bradley, J.P., Walsh, M., and Simunek, J. (2012): ERDC/CRREL TR-12-9, Cold regions Research and Engineering Laboratory, Hanover, NH, pp. 117.

2011 (Published)

Twelve testable hypotheses on the geobiology of weathering . Brantley, S.L., Megonigal, J.P., Scatena, F.N., Balogh-Brunstad, Z., Barnes, R.T., Bruns, M.A., Van Cappellen, P., Dontsova, K., Hartnett, H.E., Hartshorn, A.S., Heimsath, A., Herndon, E., Jin, L., Keller, C.K., Leake, J.R., McDowell, W.H., Meinzer, F.C., Mozdzer, T.J., Petsch, S., Pett-Ridge, J., Pregitzer, K.S., Raymond, P.A., Riebe, C.S., Shumaker, K., Sutton-Grier, A., Walter, R., Yoo, K. (2011): Geobiology 9(2): 140-65.

2011 (Published)

Uptake of Cesium (Cs+) by Building Materials in Aqueous Batch Systems . Deng, B., Medina, V., Reed, C., Bednar, A., Griggs, C., Dontsova, K., and Nestler, C. (2011): Journal of Environmental Engineering 137(11): 990-995.

2009 (Published)

Sorption of High Explosives to Water-Dispersible Clay: Influence of Organic Carbon, Aluminosilicate Clay, and Extractable Iron . Dontsova, K.M., Hayes, C., Pennington, J.C., and Porter, B. (2009): Journal of Environmental Quality 38(4): 1458-1465.

2009 (Published)

Surfactive stabilization of multi-walled carbon nanotube dispersions with dissolved humic substances . Chappell, M.A., George, A.J., Dontsova, K.M., Porter, B.E., Price, C.L., Zhou, P., Morikawa, E., Kennedy, A.J., Steevens, J.A. (2009): Environmental Pollution 157(4): 1081-1087.

2009 (Published)

Dissolution and transport of 2,4-DNT and 2,6-DNT from M1 propellant in soil . Dontsova, K. M., Pennington, J. C., Hayes, C., Šimunek, J., Williford, C. W. (2009): Chemosphere 77: 597–603.