August 2019 Newsletter

From the Deep, a monthly newsletter from DCO
August 2019
Deep Carbon Observatory
Carbon Down Under
Sixty-five new and existing Deep Carbon Observatory members took part in the ‘Carbon Down Under’ workshop, held at the University of Sydney on 24 and 25 July 2019. Read more...

Letter from the Director

DCO scientists continue to publish exciting new results while synthesizing a decade of discovery. The ubiquitous occurrence of methane-rich fluid inclusions in olivine-bearing rocks may constitute one the largest reservoirs of abiotic methane on Earth, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by DCO Deep Energy Community members Frieder Klein and Jeffrey Seewald

Speaking of methane, DCO member Larry Mayer and colleagues adapted sonar equipment to develop an acoustic method for quantifying the amount of methane escaping from the seafloor, which could provide more accurate estimates of the global flux of methane from the seafloor to the atmosphere. In other oceanographic research, a synthesis led by Deep Life Community members Steven D’Hondt and Robert Pockalny provides new constraints on the role of subseafloor microbes in driving global biogeochemical cycles

In a paper published in Science, DCO Reservoirs and Fluxes (RF) Community members Suzette Timmerman, Graham Pearson, and collaborators demonstrate that superdeep diamonds from Earth’s transition zone (410 to 660 kilometers depth) have primordial helium isotope signatures. Earlier this year, Steve Shirey, Graham Pearson, and Thomas Stachel returned to Juína, Brazil, to obtain superdeep diamonds that contain mineral inclusions from Earth’s lower mantle, providing samples from as deep as 700 kilometers beneath the surface.

DCO RF Community members Frances Deegan, Valentin Troll, and collaborators provide direct evidence that crustal carbonates can contribute significantly to CO2 emissions from subduction zone volcanoes. In other research on volcanic systems, DCO RF members Jens Fiebig, Andrea Ricci, Franco Tassi, Fatima Viveiros, Catarina Silva, and Taryn Lopez determined that abiogenesis is not required to explain the origin of volcanic-hydrothermal hydrocarbons

DCO scientists gave more than 150 presentations at Goldschmidt 2019 in Barcelona, Spain, including a session honoring the memory of Erik Hauri. The breadth and depth of DCO research presented at the Goldschmidt conference indicate a bright future for deep carbon science. Similarly, a DCO workshop on Carbon Down Under organized by Sabin Zahirovic at the University of Sydney focused on mobilizing the Australian deep carbon science community. Looking forward, DCO has a limited number of spaces available at Deep Carbon 2019: Launching the Next Decade of Deep Carbon Science on 24-26 October 2019 in Washington, DC. Details on how to attend are provided below. 

Congratulations to Kelly Wrighton for winning a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Several DCO scientists will be honored by the American Geophysical Union in its centennial year: Beth Orcutt will receive the Asahiko Taira International Scientific Ocean Drilling Research Prize; Marie Edmonds will deliver the Reginald Daly Lecture; Graham Pearson will deliver the Norman Bowen Lecture; Sergey Lobanov will receive the AGU Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award; and Robert Hazen, Graham Pearson, Alexander Sobolev, and Michael Walter have been elected as AGU Fellows. I am also honored to receive the Geological Society of America’s Public Service Award, which reflects the global impact of DCO’s collaborative network of 1200 scientists in 55 countries.

Craig Schiffries, DCO Director
Carnegie Institution for Science, Geophysical Laboratory
Washington DC, USA

News Features

Superdeep Diamonds Hint at Primordial Helium Reservoir
Microscopic pockets of fluid trapped in diamonds from deep below Earth’s surface are providing new insight into the makeup of the rock deep beneath our feet. These fluids provide evidence for a reservoir of helium deep in the mantle, leftover from Earth’s earliest days. DCO Reservoirs and Fluxes Community members Suzette Timmerman (formerly at Australian National University, now at University of Alberta, Canada), Graham Pearson (University of Alberta, Canada), and an international team of colleagues analyzed the content of the fluid pockets preserved by superdeep diamonds during the trip to the surface. The teams reports the findings in a new paper in Science. Read more...

Tiny Bubbles in the Crust Add Up to a Big Reservoir of Abiotic Methane
Scientists have detected abiotic methane, which forms from geochemical reactions without any input from organic matter or life, at a few unusual locations worldwide. On land, abiotic methane leaks from alkaline springs and ophiolites, which are chunks of ocean crust and upper mantle thrust up onto a continent, while on the seafloor, it seeps from hydrothermal vents. A new study, however, finds that abiotic methane may be much more common than expected, available primarily in tiny pockets of fluids within the mineral olivine. DCO Deep Energy Community members Frieder Klein and Jeffrey Seewald (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, USA) with former graduate student, Niya Grozeva (now at the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission, France) discovered tiny trails of bubble-like “fluid inclusions” full of abiotic methane in more than 100 samples from locations around the world. They propose that the methane comes from chemical reactions that occur when fluids infiltrate and become trapped inside olivine. This process has the potential to occur across much of Earth’s oceanic crust and upper mantle, and may also occur on other rocky planetary bodies that have or once had liquid water. The researchers report their findings in a new paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read more...

Why Aren’t Subseafloor Microbes Cleaning Their Plates?
From their humble location deep in the muck at the bottom of the ocean, subseafloor microbes unknowingly pull the levers that control Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. The speed that they consume carbon, oxygen, sulfur, and other elements at the seafloor is one factor controlling the movement of these elements between the surface and subsurface. Over billions of years, these communities of slow growing microbes have altered the chemistry of the oceans and played a major role in Earth’s climate. But despite being numerous and widespread, there is still a surprising amount of organic matter in ocean sediments that these microbes never get around to eating. Deep Life Community members Steven D’Hondt and Robert Pockalny, along with colleagues Victoria Fulfer and Arthur Spivack (all at University of Rhode Island, USA), wondered, why don’t they eat all that organic matter buried beneath the seafloor? To explore this, and other unanswered questions regarding the biogeochemical impacts of subseafloor life, the authors published a new review paper in Nature Communications. The review summarizes what is known about subseafloor microbial metabolic activities, explores how the limits to these activities affect Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, and discusses future research directions. Read more...

Eating Up Limestone Gives Volcanoes Gas
Merapi is the most active volcano in Indonesia and its unpredictable, explosive eruptions are a constant risk to the communities living along its flanks. Some scientists have proposed that the cause of the explosive eruptions might be carbon dioxide, released when magma eats away at the underlying limestone crust and transforms carbonate minerals in the limestone. Until recently, however, no one had been able to show how efficient the digestion of limestone was as a source of gas emissions at Merapi; a process that globally would represent an underappreciated piece of the deep carbon cycle. Now in a new paper in Scientific Reports, researchers show that chunks of limestone swept up by the rising melted rock degas carbon dioxide, and it’s a surprisingly rapid and efficient process. Sean Whitley, Ralf Gertisser, Ralf Halama (all at Keele University, UK), Katie Preece (Swansea University, UK), and DCO Reservoirs and Fluxes Community members Frances Deegan and Valentin Troll (both at Uppsala University, Sweden), used advanced analytical techniques to examine bits of transformed limestone, called skarns, to estimate how much carbon the limestone lost. Their findings suggest that Merapi and other volcanoes sitting on limestone can move significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at rates that impact global climate. This process may even help explain “hothouse” periods in Earth’s past. Read more...

Test of Hydrocarbons’ Origins Can Give Misleading Results from Open Volcanic Systems
Hydrocarbons in the crust, such as the oil and natural gas that we tap to meet our energy needs, primarily come from ancient life. In some unusual locations, hydrocarbons also appear to form abiotically, through geochemical reactions that are completely independent of life. One tool scientists have used to gain hints to the hydrocarbons’ origin is by determining the concentrations of carbon and hydrogen isotopes, which are atoms from the same element with different numbers of neutrons in the nucleus. The extra neutrons make the atoms slightly heavier and their presence creates a signature that can be traced as carbon and hydrogen move through an environment. In a new paper in Geochemical Perspectives Letters, researchers find that isotopic signatures are not always a reliable way to determine the origin of hydrocarbons at volcanic hydrothermal sites. DCO members Jens Fiebig (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany), Andrea Ricci (University of Bologna, Italy), Franco Tassi (University of Florence, Italy), Fatima Viveiros, Catarina Silva (both at Universidade dos Açores, Portugal), Taryn Lopez (Alaska Volcano Observatory, USA) and colleague Andri Stefánsson (University of Iceland), performed the first global investigation of carbon and hydrogen isotopes in samples from a variety of volcanic hydrothermal sites worldwide. Several sites appeared to produce abiotic hydrocarbons based on isotopic signatures. But when the group looked at the global isotopic patterns and the organic matter carried in by surface water, they determined the hydrocarbons were actually “thermogenic,” and came from the high-temperature breakdown, called “cracking,” of organic compounds as they came in contact with the volcanic systems. The new findings emphasize the importance of considering carbon contributions from ubiquitous groundwater sources when interpreting the origins of hydrocarbons. Read more...

The Seas Are Alive with the Sound of Methane
Sonar is a powerful method for peering into the ocean’s depths. By sending out a pulse of sound and detecting echoes that scatter off the seafloor or other objects in the water column, scientists can locate lost shipwrecks, estimate the numbers of fish in the sea, and even find tiny bubbles of natural gas escaping from the deep ocean. Quantifying that gas is a more difficult task, however, and until recently, required the use of expensive underwater cameras to verify the sonar data. In a new paper in Continental Shelf Research, DCO member Larry Mayer (University of New Hampshire, USA), Elizabeth Weidner (University of New Hampshire and Stockholm University, Sweden) and colleagues describe the use of a broadband sonar system that uses a wide range of sound to detect and differentiate individual bubbles of methane, without the need for camera verification. The researchers deployed the system on an expedition in the East Siberian Arctic Sea to quantify gas escaping from methane seeps and calculated that the region emits far less methane than some other studies had estimated. If other research vessels adopted similar sonar systems, then scientists could gather invaluable data on the locations of methane seeps and arrive at a better estimate of the total methane flux from seeps in oceans worldwide. Read more...

A Trip to Collect Diamonds Only a Scientist Could Love
When geologists go out into the field, they search out just the right volcano, hydrothermal vent, or rock outcrop that will let them test out their hypotheses. However, geologists interested in the mantle processes occurring hundreds of kilometers beneath the surface can’t simply travel to their field site, so they have to let the mantle come to them. One way to access tiny bits of deep mantle minerals is when inclusions are trapped during diamond crystallization at ultra-deep depths. To access these unusual inclusion-bearing diamonds, Steve Shirey (Carnegie Institution for Science, USA), Graham Pearson, and Thomas Stachel (both at University of Alberta, Canada), members of the DCO Reservoirs and Fluxes Community, went with four Brazilian geologists to the town of Juína in Mato Grasso State, Brazil. For Shirey and Pearson this was their second trip; both went in 2014. Read more...

Join Wiki Education's Student Program to Share Deep Carbon Science with the Public
A Wikipedia writing assignment is a great opportunity for instructors to teach science communication skills on a world stage. In this kind of assignment, students create or improve Wikipedia articles related to course topics. They are especially well equipped to translate scientific concepts this way for a general audience, because they remember what it was like learning these concepts for the first time. Students also gain familiarity with the inner workings of a website they use all the time, preparing them to consume information online with a more critical lens in the future. If you are teaching an upcoming course this academic year consider implementing an assignment like this to assist in DCO's efforts to make deep carbon science accessible to the public. Read more...

Scientists Gather in Sydney for “Carbon Down Under”
Sixty-five new and existing Deep Carbon Observatory members took part in the Carbon Down Under workshop, held at the University of Sydney on 24 and 25 July 2019. The two-day workshop aimed to share ten years of discovery across the DCO research communities, but also pave the way for the next decade of discovery, with a particular focus on mobilizing the Australian research community. In this context, most of the participants were from Australian institutions, including undergraduate students, early career researchers, and senior scientists. Representatives from the Australian high school education system also attended to provide insight into how to engage younger students in Earth sciences and fields relevant to deep carbon research. Read more...

Deep Carbon Science at Goldschmidt 2019
The Deep Carbon Observatory was well represented at Goldschmidt 2019, which took place from 18–23 August at the Centre Convencions Internacional in Barcelona, Spain. DCO scientists gave more than 150 presentations –including 22 session keynotes – at this annual meeting of the European Association of Geochemistry and the Geochemical Society, which was attended by thousands of geochemists from around the world. Scientists from all four of DCO’s Science Communities (Extreme Physics and Chemistry, Reservoirs and Fluxes, Deep Energy, and Deep Life) participated, as did scientists from DCO’s crosscutting activities (data science, modeling and visualization, field studies, and instrumentation). Read more...

Deep Carbon 2019 Conference
The Deep Carbon Observatory has a limited number of spaces available at Deep Carbon 2019: Launching the Next Decade of Deep Carbon Science on 24-26 October 2019 in Washington, DC. The conference will highlight DCO’s many scientific advances, representing the culmination of ten years of deep carbon research, exploration, and discovery. Deep Carbon 2019 also will serve to launch the future endeavors of this dynamic, interdisciplinary community. Although DCO cannot offer travel support, please note that conference registration is free and some meals will be provided. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at by 12 September 2019 for more information. Read more...

Upcoming Events

YES Congress 2019, Berlin, Germany, 9-13 September 2019
The YES (Young Earth Scientists) Network is an international association of young and early career Earth scientists. The Congress focuses on climate, environmental, and geoscience challenges facing today’s society, as well as career and academic pathway challenges faced by early career geoscientists. 

2019 GSA Annual Meeting, Phoenix, AZ, USA, 22-25 September 2019
The annual meeting of the Geological Society of America will take place in Phoenix, Arizona, and includes opportunities for local field experiences. 

Fourth Microbial Single Cell Genomics Workshop, Single Cell Genomics Center, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, Boothbay Harbor, ME, USA, 22-26 September 2019
This workshop will explore microbial single cell genomics and related areas, such as bioinformatics, single cell RNA-sequencing of multicellular organisms, single cell physiology, probing, and imaging. 

Fifth International Training School on Convective and Volcanic Clouds: Detection, Monitoring, and Modeling, Nicolosi, Italy, 2-10 October 2019
The purpose of the school is to train students in techniques for the detection, monitoring, and modeling of convective and volcanic clouds, state-of-the-art instruments and satellite missions, and the type of studies needed for supporting policymakers, early warning systems, and aviation safety. 

Deep Carbon 2019: Launching the next decade of deep carbon science, Washington, DC, USA, 24-26 October 2019
Deep Carbon 2019 will highlight DCO’s many scientific advances, representing the culmination of ten years of deep carbon research, exploration, and discovery. 

The Story Collider, Special DCO Edition, Washington, DC, USA, 24 October 2019
The Story Collider will host a very special edition of its live show for the Deep Carbon Observatory in conjunction with Deep Carbon 2019: Launching the Next Decade of Deep Carbon Science.

2019 AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA, 9-13 December 2019
As the American Geophysical Union marks its centennial in 2019, the Fall Meeting returns to San Francisco, the home of the Fall Meeting for more than 40 years. View DCO sessions of interest here

Gordon Research Seminar: Carbon at the Intersection of the Biosphere and Geosphere, Bates College, ME, USA, 27-28 June 2020
The Gordon Research Seminar on Deep Carbon Science is a unique forum for graduate students, post-docs, and other scientists with comparable levels of experience and education to present and exchange new data and cutting edge ideas. Application deadline: 27 March 2020

Gordon Research Conference: Exploring Fluxes, Forms, and Origins of Deep Carbon in Earth and Other Terrestrial Planets, Bates College, ME, USA, 28 June - 3 July 2020
The meeting will highlight the importance of deep carbon science for understanding the various reservoirs of carbon in our solar system - from cores to atmospheres on Earth and other planets, and from diamonds to microbial cells. Application deadline: 31 May 2020 

Honors and Awards

Beth N. Orcutt, Deep Life
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, USA 
Asahiko Taira International Scientific Ocean Drilling Research Prize 

Robert M. Hazen, DCO Executive Director
Carnegie Institution for Science, USA 
2019 AGU Fellow 

Graham Pearson, Reservoirs and Fluxes
University of Alberta, Canada 
2019 AGU Fellow 

Alexander V. Sobolev, Reservoirs and Fluxes
Institut des Sciences de la Terre, Université Grenoble Alpes, France, and Vernadsky Institute of Geochemistry and Analytical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences 
2019 AGU Fellow 

Michael Walter, Reservoirs and Fluxes
Carnegie Institution for Science, USA 
2019 AGU Fellow 

Marie Edmonds, Reservoirs and Fluxes co-Chair
University of Cambridge, UK
Reginald Daly Lecture

Graham Pearson, Reservoirs and Fluxes
University of Alberta, Canada
Norman L. Bowen Award and Lecture

Sergey Lobanov, Extreme Physics and Chemistry
GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences
AGU Mineral and Rock Physics Early Career Award

Funding Opportunities

Deep Life Cultivation Internship Program
DCO's Deep Life Community (DLC) realizes that the majority of deep microbial life has been resistant to cultivation in the laboratory, which complicates the characterization of physiological characteristics of deep community members. However, recent studies using bioreactor-cultivation techniques, under high pressure and/or temperature, have resulted in successful enrichment of previously uncultivable archaeal and bacterial components that mediate biogeochemical carbon cycling in the deep subsurface. To maintain and strengthen cultivation strategies in future deep life missions, the DLC will support early career researchers to visit some key laboratories (Inagaki - Kochi, Japan, Bartlett - La Jolla, USA, and others) to learn and practice newly developed cultivation and cultivation-dependent molecular/biogeochemical techniques, using samples from the DLC’s field missions.

C-DEBI: Rolling Call for Research Exchange Proposals
The Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) facilitates scientific coordination and collaborations by supporting student, postdoctoral, and faculty exchanges to build, educate, and train the deep subseafloor biosphere community. We award small research exchange grants for Center participants. These grants may be used to support research, travel for presenting C-DEBI research at meetings, or travel exchanges to other partner institutions or institutions that have new tools and techniques that can be applied to C-DEBI research. We anticipate ~10 awards of $500-5,000 with additional matched funds to be granted annually. 

New Publications

View more papers in the DCO publications browser.

Primordial and recycled helium isotope signatures in the mantle transition zone
Suzette Timmerman, Masahiko Honda, Antony D. Burnham, Yuri Amelin, Sarah Woodland, D. Graham Pearson, A. Lynton Jaques, Charles Le Losq, Victoria C. Bennett, Galina P. Bulanova, Christopher B. Smith, Jeffrey W. Harris, and Eric Tohver
Science doi:10.1126/science.aax5293

Abiotic methane synthesis and serpentinization in olivine-hosted fluid inclusions
Frieder Klein, Niya G. Grozeva, and Jeffrey S. Seewald
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi:10.1073/pnas.1907871116

Abiogenesis not required to explain the origin of volcanic-hydrothermal hydrocarbons
Jens Fiebig, Andri Stefánsson, Andrea Ricci, Franco Tassi, Fátima Viveiros, Catarina Silva, Taryn M. Lopez, C. Schreiber, Sven Hofmann, and Bruce W. Mountain
Geochemical Perspectives Letters doi:10.7185/geochemlet.1920

Subseafloor life and its biogeochemical impacts
Steven D’Hondt, Robert Pockalny, Victoria M. Fulfer, and Arthur J. Spivack
Nature Communications doi:10.1038/s41467-019-11450-z

Crustal CO2 contribution to subduction zone degassing recorded through calc-silicate xenoliths in arc lavas
Sean Whitley, Ralf Gertisser, Ralf Halama, Katie Preece, Valentin R. Troll, and Frances M. Deegan
Scientific Reports doi:10.1038/s41598-019-44929-2

A wideband acoustic method for direct assessment of bubble-mediated methane flux
Elizabeth Weidner, Thomas C Weber, Larry Mayer, Martin Jakobsson, Denis Chernykh, and Igor Semiletov
Continental Shelf Research doi:10.1016/j.csr.2018.12.005

Employment Opportunities

View more employment opportunities on the DCO website.

Assistant or Associate Professor in Solid Earth Geophysics - University of Texas Austin, USA
The Department of Geological Sciences in the Jackson School of Geosciences at The University of Texas at Austin seeks to hire a faculty member in the field of solid Earth geophysics at the Assistant (tenure-track) or Associate Professor (tenured) level. We are looking for an outstanding scientist who will establish an innovative, externally funded research program and will be committed to both teaching and mentoring at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Application deadline: 1 September 2019

Instrument Maker - Carnegie Institution for Science, USA
Carnegie Institution for Science, a prestigious 100+-year-old non-profit scientific research institution located in Washington, DC, is seeking a talented and experienced individual to fill the post of Instrument Maker. A minimum five years of experience as instrument maker/machinist is required. Application deadline: 1 September 2019

Postdoctoral Researcher - University of Minnesota, USA
The Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities seeks applicants for a post-doctoral position involving experimental and theoretical studies of mineral-fluid reactions in hydrological and hydrothermal systems. Application deadline: 1 September 2019

Director of Diversity Programs in Geosciences - The Pennsylvania State University, USA
We seek a colleague who will build on existing departmental programs, mentor students, and lead, develop, and innovate a suite of sustainable research and teaching initiatives that promote and support a diverse body of students, staff, and faculty members committed to inclusivity and equity. Application deadline: 1 September 2019 

Volcanology Data Researcher - The Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program, National Museum of Natural History, USA
The Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program is hiring a permanent Volcanology Data Researcher. Major duties will include researching and writing reports for the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network and assisting in management of the Volcanoes of the World database under the supervision of the Senior Data Researcher and program director. Application deadline: 16 September 2019

Tenure-track Faculty, Hydrogeology - The Pennsylvania State University, USA 
The Department of Geosciences at The Pennsylvania State University, in University Park, PA invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position in the field of Hydrogeology, to be filled at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, depending upon the successful candidate's qualifications and experience. Application deadline: 10 October 2019 

DCO in the News

28 August 2019 Scientists discover microbial life 2.4 km underground in depths of a Canadian mine
By David Nield for Science Alert
Amongst all of Earth's abundant life, microorganisms have proven time and time again that they can live just about anywhere...

27 August 2019 'Massive pool' of methane discovered hidden deep underground
By Tom Metcalfe for NBC News
In a discovery that helps solve a longstanding geological mystery and yields new insights into the rise of life on Earth and possibly elsewhere, researchers have found a vast reservoir of methane deep under the ocean floor...

23 August 2019 Microbial life discovered 2.4 km deep in Canadian mine
By Catherine Offord for The Scientist
Researchers have uncovered the first direct evidence of resident microbes in Kidd Creek Mine, a 3-kilometer-deep copper and zinc mine in Ontario...

23 August 2019 Pioneering researcher explores deep limits of life
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Off the Pacific coast of Colombia, beneath miles of seawater, lie two holes bored deep into the ocean floor...

21 August 2019 'Massive pool' of methane hidden deep beneath Earth's surface discovered by scientists
By Hannah Osborne for Newsweek
A huge source of methane has been discovered deep beneath the surface of Earth, sitting between the upper mantle and lower oceanic crust...

16 August 2019 Microbiologist seeks microbes in their inhospitable habitats
By Delia O'Hara for AAAS Member Spotlight
Microbiologist Karen Lloyd regularly journeys out of her lab to study single-celled organisms that live in some of the earth's most inhospitable places...

16 August 2019 Mineralogist enlightened by the integrative nature of science
By McKenzie Prillaman for AAAS Member Spotlight
At least once a week, Carnegie Institution mineralogist and AAAS Fellow Robert Hazen finds himself surrounded by eagles and ospreys in the Western Shore of the Chesapeake Bay...

16 August 2019 Superdeep diamonds have a story to tell
By Richard A. Lovett for Cosmos
Tiny imperfections in Brazilian diamonds have revealed a pocket of the Earth’s primordial past, deep in its interior...

15 August 2019 In super-deep diamonds, glimmers of Earth’s distant past
By JoAnna Klein for the New York Times
We can’t dig to the center of the Earth, and we can’t time travel. But if the universe could grant a consolation prize, it would be a super-deep diamond...

15 August 2019 Deep-Earth diamonds may contain gassy relics from the early solar system
By Katherine J. Wu for NOVA
Scientists studying diamonds from deep within Earth’s mantle found evidence of a reservoir of rocks and gas that may be nearly as old as the planet itself...

4 August 2019 What lies at the bottom of one of the deepest holes ever dug by man?
60 Minutes
A South African gold mine that goes two miles beneath the Earth's surface holds far more than just precious metals...

Learn more about DCO's Scientific Communities


Extreme Physics and Chemistry
The Extreme Physics and Chemistry Community is 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.

Reservoirs and Fluxes
The Reservoirs and Fluxes Community is dedicated to identifying the principal deep carbon reservoirs, to determining the mechanisms and rates by which carbon moves among these reservoirs, and to assessing the total carbon budget of Earth.

Deep Energy
The Deep Energy Community is dedicated to developing a fundamental understanding of environments and processes that regulate the volume and rates of production of abiogenic hydrocarbons and other organic species in the crust and mantle through geological time.

Deep Life
The Deep Life Community is dedicated to assessing the nature and extent of the deep microbial and viral biosphere by exploring the evolutionary and functional diversity of Earth's deep biosphere and its interaction with the carbon cycle.

Thanks for reading! Send us items for future newsletters by emailing Katie Pratt of the DCO Engagement Team. 

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