2024 Abstracts

Molecular and Microstructural Soil Characterization User Program and Soil Data Across the Continental United States: Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory’s Molecular Observation Network


John Bargar* (john.bargar@pnnl.gov), Emily Graham, Sarah Leichty, Odeta Qafoku, Satish Karra, Douglas Mans


Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, Richland, WA



Standardized soil molecular and microscale data is urgently needed at regional and larger scales to improve biogeochemical process representations, provide model inputs, and reduce uncertainty in Earth system and climate predictions. The Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory’s (EMSL’s) Molecular Observation Network (MONet) is addressing this gap through a distributed open science program that provides numerous benefits to researchers, including:

  • Researchers submitting soil cores for analysis receive ≥ 30 data advanced types, including soil organic matter high-resolution composition, 3D pore structure characterization, metagenomes, and a suite of conventional biogeochemical parameters, at no additional cost to user scientists
  • Access to molecular and microscale soil data across the continental U.S. in the MONet database
  • Extensive training opportunities about the fundamentals of MONet data types and how to use them in graduate, postdoctoral, and career scientist research
  • Networking and interacting with a growing community of MONet open science colleagues

Scientists participating in MONet Soil Function user research calls gain access to EMSL’s premier high-resolution molecular and microstructural characterization capabilities including, Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR) mass spectrometer and X-ray computed tomography, and Joint Genome Institute’s metagenome sequencing and annotation workflows. MONet soil analyses follow standardized workflows that enable high consistency and throughput that reduce uncertainty in data. The resulting data are open to the scientific community in a searchable findability, accessibility, interoperability, and reusability (FAIR) database, explorable using online data visualization and processing tools, and supported by training and community engagement programs. MONet is developing tools and scaling functions to enhance data accessibility and utilization for a range of biogeochemical process and Earth system models.