This preface for the special section, Interdisciplinary Sciences in Critical Zone Observatories (CZOs), provides a brief background of the emerging Critical Zone science and its related CZOs. Highlights of 14 papers included in this special section are summarized to illustrate initial research outcomes from several CZOs on both disciplinary and interdisciplinary topics across soil science, hydrology, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, geophysics, and ecosystem ecology. In closing, a brief future outlook is presented for moving forward the science that can be generated from a global network of CZOs.

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