Key hydrological and biogeochemical processes in terrestrial systems are tightly coupled and controlled by soil properties. Process rates are especially large and dynamic at the interfaces between critical zone compartments, i.e., soil, groundwater, plants, and the atmosphere, where coupled processes and feedbacks result in nonlinear responses. However, the failure of scientists to work effectively across traditional disciplinary boundaries have limited the study of the coupled processes occurring at these critical interfaces, as well as our understanding of the critical feedbacks between physical, chemical and biological processes.

Recent advances and findings have shown that a profound understanding of the interaction between hydrological and biogeochemical processes is needed to explain water and mass fluxes occurring at the interfaces between soils and its adjacent compartments. Soil-mediated drivers of coupled hydrological and biogeochemical processes are intrinsically heterogeneous across spatial and temporal scales, spanning several orders of magnitude. Capturing heterogeneity of both states and fluxes of these processes is key to improving our understanding and developing efficient management and adaptation strategies. Due to the development of novel measurement techniques, highly resolved observation of these states and fluxes is now possible. Typically, however, scientific studies are presented and discussed in their specific communities and related conferences, and cross-pollination of ideas and concepts is hindered by this separation.

With this Chapman Conference on soil-mediated drivers, we will bring together scientists from soil systems sciences, hydrology, and biogeochemistry to discuss recent findings dealing with the role and importance of coupled hydrological and biogeochemical processes occurring in the soil system and its interfaces with adjacent compartments. Four key fields of research will be addressed at the proposed conference: 1) coupled abiotic-biotic drivers of organic matter and nutrient transformations and transport across terrestrial-aquatic interfaces; 2) quantification and improved prediction of gas flux exchange in the soil-plant systems; 3) monitoring strategies of soil-mediated processes and drivers from local to catchment scales over time; and, 4) the soil resource as a primary driver of ecosystem services. This proposed conference will facilitate an in-depth exchange of concepts and ideas on soil-mediated drivers of coupled hydrological and biogeochemical processes across spatial and temporal scales. The conference is planned for four days and will consist of oral sessions, a poster session, four open workshop spaces, and a wrap-up session. The invited speakers, and volunteer speakers and contributors will be encouraged to publish their research in a conference proceedings or special issue/section of an international journal. The conference is open to all scientists interested in the proposed topics. We will pay specific attention to attracting early career scientists and Ph.D. students working on topics at the interfaces between the different disciplines, and specifically target underrepresented groups.