Introduction to the geotroposphere
The geotroposphere is suggested as a new term representing a new paradigm to guide the investigation and explanation of phenomena at the interface of the earth's surface and its lower troposphere. From this knowledge, the development of engineering controls to protect public health and the environment is anticipated. This particular sphere is defined as the region of the earth's soil and the earth's lower troposphere that extends from the lower level of the vadose zone, ranging from centimeters to meters in soil depending on varying depth to groundwater, to the upper levels of the mixing zone in the troposphere, ranging from meters to 100s of meters above the earth depending on the troposphere's varying vertical temperature profile and atmospheric stability (Peirce, 2004). Emerging research discussed in this special edition of Environmental Engineering Science focuses on the geotroposphere and on geotropospheric interactions taking place at the interface of the soil and the troposphere. This research explores the production, transport, interactions, and transformation of substances, including environmental pollutants and nonpollutants in soil and in the lower troposphere. The focus is on mapping and modeling the basic physical, chemical, and microbiological processes that occur in this interface so that we may obtain a better understanding of principles and mechanisms involved. From this new knowledge improved methods to protect public health and the environment may be formulated.
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