Welcome to the Deep Carbon Observatory

A global community of more than 1000 scientists on a ten-year quest to understand the quantities, movements, forms, and origins of carbon inside Earth.

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This carbonated peridotite from the Sultanate of Oman underwent partial melting ~96 million years ago in Earth’s shallow mantle beneath a submarine, volcanic spreading center, where magma formed new oceanic crust. A full sequence of newly formed crust and upper mantle was then emplaced on the Arabian continental margin, where it now forms Oman’s Al Hajar Mountains. The mantle peridotite is now undergoing subaerial weathering, taking up water to form hydrous minerals like serpentine, and absorbing CO2 to form the network of white carbonate veins you see in this sample. Most of the carbonate veins formed during the last 50,000 years. Credit Bernard Marty.

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Learn more about DCO's integrative approach, which emphasizes cross-disciplinary research activities in data science, instrumentation, field studies, and modeling and visualization, or discover deep carbon research by exploring DCO books, special issues, and journal articles.

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Extreme Physics and Chemistry Dedicated to improving our understanding of the physical and chemical behavior of carbon at extreme conditions, as found in the deep interiors of Earth and other planets.
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Reservoirs and Fluxes Dedicated to identifying deep carbon reservoirs, determining how carbon moves among these reservoirs, and assessing Earth’s total carbon budget.
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Deep Energy Dedicated to understanding the volume and rates of abiogenic hydrocarbons and other organic species in the crust and mantle through geological time.
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Deep Life Dedicated to assessing the nature and extent of the deep microbial and viral biosphere.

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