DCO researchers convened on March 3-5, 2013, at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., to share recent discoveries and discuss the state of deep carbon science.
From Earth’s surface to depths well below commercial oil operations, the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is investigating the surprising movements, origins, forms, and the quantity of deep carbon.
Over the course of the ten-year program, DCO scientists will study these mysteries across the globe and in a wide variety of scales, from measuring carbon's flow during the slow convection of the mantle to the percolating fluids of the crust and their violent emissions from volcanoes. DCO scientists are searching for the ancient origins of deep carbon and the formation and transformation of carbon's forms ranging from novel chemical structures under extreme temperatures and pressures, to oil and gas, to diamonds and deep microbes. Ninety percent or more of Earth’s carbon is thought to be locked away or in motion deep underground. This hidden dimension of the planet is as poorly understood as it is profoundly important to life on the surface, according to scientists probing the world’s innermost secrets in the $500 million program.
The International Science Meeting highlighted significant advances in deep carbon science, scientific achievements of the DCO to date, the research plans guiding future studies, and provided perspectives on the program’s objectives from leading scientists in federal agencies and research organizations. A "public" day on March 4 culminated in a panel discussion featuring seven of the more fifty authors who contributed to a landmark publication about the state of deep carbon science, Carbon in Earth. See details of the March 4 session.
Read more about Carbon in Earth.