2011 Goldschmidt Conference

Location: Prague, Czech Republic

When:  August 14-19, 2011

Web site:  http://www.goldschmidt2011.org

The Deep Carbon Observatory was well represented at the Goldschmidt Conference, sponsored by the European Association of Geochemistry and the Geochemical Society. Approximately 3000 Earth scientists attended and contributed 3800 abstracts.  Bernard Marty, co-chair of the DCO Reservoirs and Fluxes Directorate, chaired the Goldschmidt Conference. This partly accounts for why there were many events, talks and special sessions related to deep volatiles including various aspects of deep carbon research. 

Among the highlights, three of the five plenary lectures focused on aspects of Earth’s carbon. Geochemical Society President Sam Mukasa lectured on the connections between mantle volatiles and volcanism (“Volatiles in the Mantle: Impact on intraplate magmatism”). Marc Hirschmann of the University of Minnesota, a member of the DCO Reservoirs and Fluxes Scientific Steering Committee (SSC), contributed “Deep Earth volatile cycles: From ancient to modern,” in which he focused on changes through time in Earth’s H/C ratio and contrasted the hydrogen and carbon storage in different deep Earth reservoirs.  Victoria Orphan of Caltech focused on the deep biosphere in her plenary lecture, “Microbial partnerships and methane-oxidation in the deep sea.” She described combined molecular and isotopic methods to characterize microbial populations at the single-cell level within methane-based ecosystems.

Several awardees at this year’s meeting are actively engaged in DCO-related research. New Geochemical Society Fellows include Terry Plank, another member of the Reservoirs and Fluxes SSC, and Dimitri Sverjensky, who is active in DCO research relevant to multiiple DCO Directorates. Rajdeep Dasgupta, who played a central role since the founding of the DCO, received the Clarke Medal and was a keynote speaker (“Silicate melting in Earth’s deep upper mantle caused by C-O-H volatiles”) at a session on “Mantle redox and the deep carbon cycle,” which featured 16 presentations. Other deep carbon sessions included “Carbon sequestration analogues,” “Black shales,” “Carbon cycle feedbacks over time,” “Shale gas, coal gas, and tight gas systems,” “Soil carbon dynamics,” and “Magmatic volatiles.” In addition, numerous other sessions touched on aspects of Earth’s accretion, differentiation, tectonic history, geochemistry of mantle and core, origins and evolution of atmosphere and oceans, origins and evolution of life, and many other topics related to the deep carbon cycle.

Several members of the DCO leadership, including Executive Committee members Barbara Sherwood-Lollar, Isabelle Daniel, and David Cole, as well as DCO Scientific Advisory Committee members Magali Ader, Chris Ballentine, Leonid Dubrovinsk, Yingwei Fei, Marc Hirschmann, and Terry Plank met on Wednesday evening to discuss long-range planning in anticipation of the February 2012 meeting of the Executive Committee and Scientific Steering Committees of all four Directorates.


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