DCO Playing Cards: Credits and Captions

This deck of playing cards was assembled by Claire Badgley and Liz Cottrell, with help from Josh Wood, to give away as keepsakes at the 2015 DCO Modeling and Visualization Workshop. Thank you to all who contributed images.


DCO Engagement Team

About the DCO Logo.


Steven Richardson


Diamond with Garnet Inclusion: Analysis of the minerals trapped in diamonds, such as the red garnet shown here, provide valuable clues to processes in Earth's ancient mantle.


Carlos Alvarez Arikian



IODP technicians Margaret Hastedt, John Beck, Chad Broyles, and Zenon Mateo and Lisa Crowder carry a core from Site U1365 into the Catwalk for processing.


John Kirkpatrick

Microscopic image of deep life. FISH labeled cells from a redox interface photo.

Josh Wood

DCO Field studies map plotted with data from the DCO Data Portal.

Center for Marine Environmental Sciences (MARUM), University of Bremen. Image courtesy of Antje Boetius.


Leaky Seafloor. Sampling gas at a cold seep, Black Sea, water depth: 850 m.


Richard Roscoe ( Image courtesy of Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program.

Nighttime (time-lapse) view of Pacaya's MacKenney cone as seen looking west in December 2007. Flat-topped, antenna-laden Cerro Chino of the Pacaya complex is at lower right, and at distance in background from right to left reside Agua, Acatenango, and Fuego stratovolcanoes.

Bernard Evans


Partial serpentinization of olivine: This micrograph shows a snapshot of the serpentinization reaction as aqueous fluids come into contact with the mineral olivine (yellow). The reaction releases life-sustaining chemical energy in the form of molecular hydrogen.

Bernard Marty



Carbonated Peridotite in Oman.

Adrian Jones


Scientists monitor carbon dioxide emissions on Mount Etna: Volcanoes provide a window to deep Earth, linking the mantle and atmosphere. By measuring outgassing from volcanic vents, DCO scientists evaluate this important piece of the global carbon cycle. A gas monitoring station on the summit of Mount Etna, Italy, is one of many stations providing data for DCO’s global volcanic monitoring network.


Herve Cardon

A tiny “diamond anvil” pressure cooker was used to produce hydrogen at remarkable speed. Enclosed between diamonds -- Earth’s hardest material -- and within a tiny space about the width of a pencil lead, scientists applied very high pressure and 200-300 degrees C heat to a mixture of aluminum oxide, water and the mineral olivine.

Sebastien Turay

Aerial view of Dziani Dzaha lake with boat: Aerial point of view of the Dziani Dzaha lake with the field expedition's boat


Josh Wood

A graphic interpretation of the interconnectedness of the Deep Carbon Observatory Science Network.


Deep Life. Exploring the evolutionary and functional diversity of Earth’s deep biosphere and its interaction with the carbon cycle.


Dane Penland. Image courtesy of Smithsonian Institution.

The Hope Diamond.

International Ocean Discovery Program

IODP Drilling Vessel Joides Resolution in Hobart, Australia. A number of DCO network scientists are active members of IODP.

Katrin Knittel


Micrographs of aerobic methanotrophic bacteria (white), anaerobic methanotrophic archaea (red) and sulfate-reducing bacteria (green) visualized by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Anaerobic oxidation of methane is a globally relevant process removing 60 million tons, the mass of ten pyramids of Giza, of the greenhouse gas methane from seafloor sediments each year.

Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution.

A piece of the Allende meteorite, a carbonaceous chondrite and a likely building block of the Earth. This sample is about 21 cm across and 2.5kg."


Julie Huber


Using a suite of molecular, microscopic and enrichment-based techniques, scientists examine the adaptation of microbes to their geologic and chemical habitat.


NOAA Ocean Explorer

Pillow lavas on the western rift of Vailulu'u volcano are colonized with exotic marine life, photographed during a NOAA Ocean Explorer  expedition in 2005. Two principal rift zones extend east and west from the summit of the submarine volcano, parallel to the trend of the Samoan hotspot. Not discovered until  1975, this massive seamount rises 4200 m from the seafloor to a depth of 590 m and displays evidence of hydrothermal venting.

Original photo by Danielle Gruen. Photo-illustration by Jose-Luis Olivares.

Hot Cow. Shuhei Ono and colleagues, working with scientists from Aerodyne Research, built an instrument to detect 13CH3D. The technique uses infrared spectroscopy to detect specific frequencies corresponding to minute motions within molecules of methane; different frequencies correspond to different isotopes. This spectroscopic approach, which is fundamentally different from the classical mass spectrometric methods being developed by others, has the advantage of portability, allowing its potential deployment in field locations. 

Individual cows can produce up to 500 liters of methane a day; the species accounts for about one-third of total methane emissions. The structures shown represent the structure of methane.


Jason Sylvan


Drill cores from the Louisville Seamounts, Southwest Pacific Ocean: Scientific drilling expeditions at sea and on land afford opportunities to examine the subsurface biosphere, collecting samples from several kilometers below the surface. These deep-sea cores were obtained from Integrated Ocean Drilling Program Expedition 330 to the Louisville Seamount Trail.


Katie Pratt

Dr. Jorge Andres Diaz (GASLAB, Department of Physics, University of Costa Rica) and colleagues deploy direct sensing instrumentation into the plume of Turrialba volcano. The helium-filled balloon is capable of sending up to two pounds of gas-monitoring equipment into the plume.


Herve Cardon

A tiny “diamond anvil” pressure cooker was used to produce hydrogen at remarkable speed. Enclosed between diamonds -- Earth’s hardest material -- and within a tiny space about the width of a pencil lead (shown in the center of image 3 above), scientists applied very high pressure and 200-300 degrees C heat to a mixture of aluminum oxide, water and the mineral olivine.

Emanuela Bagnato


The main fumarole field of Lastarria volcano.

Enshi Xu

Research on the forms of carbon under extreme temperatures and pressures has implications for materials science and technology This diamond nanothread is an example of a newly discovered form of carbon that remains stable under ambient conditions.


Reservoirs and Fluxes. 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.


Steve Shirey

Natural Diamonds: Ultradeep diamonds such as these from Brazil provide detailed information on the deep carbon cycle.


Doug Bartlett

Lander deployment: Mariana Trench, Pacific Ocean

Steve D’Hondt

The depth of oxygen penetration into marine sediments differs considerably from one region to another. In areas with high rates of microbial respiration, O2 penetrates only millimetres to centimetres into the sediments, but active anaerobic microbial communities are present in sediments hundreds of metres or more below the seafloor.

Katie Kelley

Melt inclusion in olivine crystal from Pagan volcano, Marianas in cross-polar light.

Jinfu Shu

Opposing diamond anvils.

Jon Telling


Ancient Water Hints at Origins of Life: Dissolved hydrogen and methane in water erupting from fractured rocks fuel the deep biosphere. These gases, such as those found at Soudan Mine, Minnesota, USA, may be trapped underground for billions of years, providing clues about the origins of life on Earth.


Jay Ague

Fluid-mediated reactions in subduction zones can release significant amounts of carbon, which is later degassed at arc volcanoes. A similar photomicrograph to this, of various crystals from a quartz vein analyzed for this DCO study, appeared on the May 2014 cover of Nature Geoscience.

Benedicte Menez

Hydrogarnets and Biofilm Relics: The serpentinization process, a reaction between water and rock, is crucial for deep microbial ecosystems. The reaction releases life-sustaining chemical energy in the form of molecular hydrogen and, in the process, modifies surrounding minerals. A false color scanning electron micrograph illustrates this reciprocal relationship between the geosphere and biosphere, where hydrogarnets are shown in blue, polyhedral serpentine in green, iron oxides in red, and relics of biofilm in yellow.


Satellites such as the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), shown here, provide new opportunities for studies of carbon in Earth, such as measurements from space of carbon dioxide from volcanic emissions and outgassing of the oceans.

James Drake, Rajdeep Dasgupta, Artem Oganov, Robert Hazen, Tobias Fischer

Cover of Carbon in Earth, an open access edition of Reviews in Mineralogy and Geochemistry published in 2013.

Matt Schrenk


Serpentinization in ultramafic rocks causes a complex network of fracturing and creates habitats for subsurface microbial communities. Image from Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland, Canada.


Mario Santoro

Polymetric Carbon Dioxide. This diagram depicts a remarkable framework, or "polymeric" structure, of CO2 determined by DCO scientists. The structure is stable under the high temperature and pressure conditions of Earth's lower mantle, thus representing a potential reservoir of deep carbon.



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.



Mike Walter

Cathodoluminescence of a deep diamond.

Tom Kieft


Scientific drilling provides samples for investigations that address a wide range of DCO’s Decadal Goals, including the extent and diversity of the deep biosphere.

Dr. Tobias Keller of FoaLab, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Oxford



Simulation of CO2-enriched melting and melt-transport beneath a mid-ocean ridge. The x-axis is horizontal distance from the ridge (km); the y-axis is depth beneath the ridge axis (km).  The lithosphere is moving from left to right.  Colours represent the log of the mass fraction of melt present.  Blue lines show the flow of the solid mantle. Red lines show the flow of the fluid/magma. Carbonatite stability is not included in the melting calculations.



Liz Cottrell

Mid-ocean ridge basalt glass with CO2 vesicle in transmitted light. LYN73-D 7-G65

Doug Rumble. Image courtesy of Ed Young.


Photograph of the Panorama high-resolution gas-source multiple-collector mass spectrometer installed at UCLA in March, 2015.  The instrument permits analysis of rare isotopic species of gas molecules at unprecedented mass resolution.

Colima Volcano Observatory

A typical vulcanian explosion at Colima is seen on 10 March 2007 from the north. Intermittent explosive eruptions with occasional lava growth and associated pyroclastic flows had been continuing for nearly a decade.

Isabelle Daniel

A pseudo-hexagonal crystal of strontianite (a carbonate) in water at 4.7 gigapascals and 290 degrees centigrade within a diamond anvil cell.  

Patrick Allard

Erupting volcano Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland, on 8 May 2010.

Evi Nomikou

Scientists aboard the Pourquoi pas? have pre-programmed the AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) named "Abyss" to move around freely in the water without being tethered to the ship. Abyss will acquire geophysical data, especially high resolution bathymetry to map the structure around hydrothermal sites, then be retrieved and brought back onboard.

Benedicte Menez

A fossil microbial niche in serpentinized abyssal peridotite. Microbial activity regulating dissolution/crystallization processes governs the chemical exchange in the latter hydrothermal phases. In this case, C, Mg, Si and Fe are sequestered while Ca is released.


Ocean Drilling Program (ODP)

ODP Core, Hole 765B, 17H. Section 7, from 60-100cm contains both carbonate and organic carbon. Carbonate turbidites have washed off the Exmouth Plateau (NW Australian shelf) into the Argo Abyssal Plain and will be subducted into the Java trench. The section also contains significant organic carbon re-deposited from the shelf, and also accumulated within the dark clay unit.

Ding Pan


Computer Simulations of Water and Deep Carbon: New visualization techniques help clarify the forms and interactions of carbon under deep planetary interior conditions, such as carbonate-bearing aqueous fluids shown here.


Deep Energy. 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.



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