Recent Findings

Abnormal Elasticity of Single-Crystal Magnesiosiderite across the Spin Transition in Earth’s Lower Mantle
Fu, Suyu;Yang, Jing;Lin, Jung-Fu Physical Review Letters, (2017). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.118.036402. Publication Metadata

Chemistry of Hydrocarbons Under Extreme Thermobaric Conditions
Kolesnikov, Anton;Saul, John;Kutcherov, Vladimir ChemistrySelect, (2017). DOI:10.1002/slct.201601123. Publication Metadata

Earliest signs of life on land preserved in ca. 3.5 Ga hot spring deposits
djokic, tara;Van Kranendonk, Martin;Campbell, Kathleen;Walter, Malcolm;Ward, Colin R. Nature Communications, (2017). DOI:10.1038/ncomms15263. Publication Metadata

First-principles prediction of Si-doped Fe carbide as one of the possible constituents of Earth's inner core
Das, Tilak;Chatterjee, Swastika;Ghosh, Sujoy;Saha-Dasgupta, Tanusri Geophysical Research Letters, (2017). DOI:10.1002/2017GL073545. Publication Metadata

Highly CO 2 -supersaturated melts in the Pannonian lithospheric mantle – A transient carbon reservoir?
Créon, Laura;Rouchon, Virgile;Youssef, Souhail;Rosenberg, Elisabeth;Delpech, Guillaume;Szabó, Csaba;Remusat, Laurent;Mostefaoui, Smail;Asimow, Paul D.;Antoshechkina, Paula;Ghiorso, Mark S.;Boller, Elodie;Guyot, François Lithos, (2017). DOI:10.1016/j.lithos.2016.12.009. Publication Metadata

Immiscible hydrocarbon fluids in the deep carbon cycle
Huang, Fang ;Daniel, Isabelle;Cardon, Herve;Montagnac, Gilles ;Sverjensky, Dimitri Nature Communications, (2017). DOI:10.1038/ncomms15798. Publication Metadata

Iron isotopic fractionation between silicate mantle and metallic core at high pressure
Liu, Jin;Dauphas, Nicolas;Roskosz, Mathieu;Hu, Michael Y.;Yang, Hong;Bi, Wenli;Zhao, Jiyong;Alp, Esen E.;Hu, Justin Y.;Lin, Jung-Fu Nature Communications, (2017). DOI:10.1038/ncomms14377. Publication Metadata

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Projects

CO2 and Hydrocarbon Reactions with Rocks

Project Investigators: Mao, Wendy; Lin, Yu; Farfan, G ; Boulard, Eglantine

Start Date: 2011-10-01

End Date: 2013-09-01

Summary: Fluid CO2 and hydrocarbons exist in pore spaces, grain boundaries, and channels within minerals and rocks. In order to study the physical and chemical fluid-rock interactions on small scales, we will create 3-dimensional x-ray tomographic images of carbon-bearing fluid distribution in diamond-anvil cells containing minerals. This will allow us to image the interaction of fluid CO2 and hydrocarbons with solid rocks under the high P-T conditions of the entire mantle.

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Carbon Nanophases and Novel Forms of Carbon

Project Investigators: Armentrout, Matthew; Tomasino, Dane; Chen, Jing-Yin; Dunuwille, Mihindra ; Tavakoli , Amir ; Widgeon, Scarlett ; Galli, Giulia; Bott, William ; Yoo, Choong-Shik; Navrotsky, Alexandra

Start Date: 2011-10-01

End Date: 2013-09-01

Summary: Understanding the physical and chemical properties of C-bearing fluids and rocks requires not only knowledge of bulk thermodynamic data, but also determination of the stability range of carbon nanophases present in rocks and thus of interfacial and surface energies. We will investigate graphene and carbon nanotubes under high pressure in diamond anvil cell experiments and investigate associated electronic structure changes using calorimetry and ab initio calculations in order to explore nanophases and other forms of carbon under pressure.

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Carbon in Fluids

Project Investigators: Sverjensky, Dimitri; Shock, Everett; Goncharov, Alex; Manning, Craig; Galli, Giulia; Daniel, Isabelle; Kutcherov, Vladimir; Eguchi, James ; Pan, Ding

Start Date: 2013-10-01

Summary: Geologic evidence from carbonate mineral veins and mantle xenoliths shows that deep fluids are important agents for carbon transfer to and from deep reservoirs. We seek to better understand these fluids. We will (1) analyze the speciation of carbonate in fluids at deep Earth conditions, (2) investigate the solubility of carbonate minerals in subduction zone fluids, (3) utilize new algorithms for ab initio molecular dynamic calculations related to the behavior of aqueous solutions containing divalent anions, (4) investigate experimentally the bonding properties of carbon in C-O-H fluids in the deep Earth and icy giant planets, (5) investigate synthesis pathways and phase diagrams for complex hydrocarbon systems to conditions of Earth’s lower mantle, and (6) develop new equations of state for organic compounds dissolved in water.

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Carbon in Magmas

Project Investigators: Dasgupta, Rajdeep; Mao, Wendy; Manning, Craig; Caracas, Razvan; Duncan, Megan; Hummer, Daniel

Start Date: 2013-10-01

Summary: Recent studies indicate that carbonate-rich melts are critical to CO2 cycling. Understanding the chemical and physical properties of carbonate-silicate melts is therefore crucial to understanding the behavior of the entire deep carbon cycle. We will (1) characterize the evolution of silicate melt structure in response to increasing concentrations of CaCO3, (2) use first-principle calculations based on density-functional theory to investigate the effect of carbon addition on MgO-SiO2 melt properties, (3) undertake experiments and spectroscopic studies to determine the carbon contents and carbon speciation of natural rhyolitic melts at high pressures and temperatures in order to constrain carbon transport in subduction zones, and (4) study the physical properties of carbon-rich melts and their connectivity in mantle rocks.

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Carbon in Solids

Project Investigators: Palaich, Sarah; Scelta, Demetrio ; Ceppatelli, Matteo ; Tulk, Chris; Cerantola, Valerio; Lin, Jung-Fu; Citroni, Margherita ; Yoo, Choong-Shik; Lapini, Andrea ; Merlini, Marco ; Li, Tianshu; Fanetti, Samuele; Bini, Roberto; Badro, James; Galli, Giulia; Santoro, Mario; Navrotsky, Alexandra

Start Date: 2013-10-01

Summary: Carbon exists in the solid state in many forms and may exist over a wide range of conditions in planetary interiors. However, much remains uncertain about carbon solids, including carbon bonding environments, structure and crystal chemistry, stability ranges, reaction rates and rheology, and relative abundance. We will (1) continue work on extended CO2 polymorphs, focusing on CO2-SiO2 reactions, (2) investigate reactions of CO2 with mantle silicates, (3) study statics and dynamics of high-pressure structural transformations and reactivity in CH4, H2O, CH4-H2O ice and clathrates, (4) create ab initio molecular dynamics simulations and quantum chemical calculations to investigate experimental results, (5) study phase diagrams and thermal elasticity of carbonate and carbides at core-mantle boundary conditions, (6) study the reactivity of perovskite with hydrous phases and carbonates in the lowermost mantle and core-mantle boundary, and (7) examine key aspects of Si-C bonding in silicate minerals.

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DCO-DS Boundary Activity: Themodynamic Data Legacy Rescue

Project Investigators: Ma, Xiaogang

Start Date: 2014-07-01

Summary: A huge amount of legacy datasets are contained in published literature. It is a valuable work to extract, organize and reuse those datasets. This work focuses on the tables in scanned PDF documents, which are often seen in literature published before the 1990s. To explore methods and techniques for data rescue and management, the DCO-DS team and the DCO-EPC member Prof. Mark Ghiorso organized a boundary activity focusing on themodynamic dataset, or more specifically, the enthalpy and entropy of chemicals.

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Data Science Infrastructure for EPC

Project Investigators: Ghiorso, Mark S.

Start Date: 2013-10-01

Summary: We will establish a data archiving tool that supports experimental research of the EPC, DCO, and the larger scientific community. This tool will take the form of a publicly accessible web portal designed for data mining and model development. Additionally, we will build a web portal for accessing standard geochemical modeling tools necessary for research by EPC scientists, and we will data mine and archive literature compilations of materials properties for use in the refinement of thermodynamic data/model collections.

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Equation of State and Kinetic Properties of Natural Gas Hydrocarbons

Project Investigators: Galli, Giulia; Goncharov, Alex; Kolesnikov, Anton

Start Date: 2011-10-01

End Date: 2013-09-01

Summary: Thermodynamic data are scarce for natural hydrocarbons under pressure, limiting our ability to predict the behavior of hydrocarbons in Earth’s interior to shallower than ~30 km. We will undertake experimental and theoretical experiments dedicated to gathering equation of state data and characterizing possible reactions occurring in hydrocarbon mixtures.

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Equations of State and Kinetic Properties of Hydrocarbon Hydrates

Project Investigators: Cabriolu, Raffaela; Galli, Giulia; Lapini, Andrea ; Pagliai, Marco ; Bi, Yuanfei; Li, Tianshu; Bini, Roberto; Fanetti, Samuele; Pan, Ding

Start Date: 2011-10-01

End Date: 2013-09-01

Summary: Methane hydrates are an important component of the global organic carbon cycle, reflecting changes in Earth’s surface history, but knowledge of the high-pressure properties of methane hydrates is limited. We will study chemical reactions leading to the release of H2 and possible sequestration of CO2 in methane hydrates using spectroscopy tools in diamond anvil cells, and compare these with results from ab initio molecular dynamic simulations, in order to investigate the nature of excited electronic states, crystal structure and high-pressure phase transitions, and to obtain vibrational spectra that will be used to interpret experiments.

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Equations of State and Kinetic Properties of Methane, Water, Carbon Dioxide, and CH4-H2O and CO2-H2 Mixtures

Project Investigators: Schwegler, Eric ; Sverjensky, Dimitri; Galli, Giulia; Cohen, Ronald; Wu, Zhigang; Yoo, Choong-Shik; Goncharov, Alex; Larson, Peter

Start Date: 2011-10-01

End Date: 2013-09-01

Summary: We will determine equations of state for methane, CO2, and mixtures of methane, CO2, H2O, and ammonia experimentally, using laser-heated diamond anvil cells and Raman, infrared, and optical spectroscopy. Concurrent ab initio molecular dynamics calculations that will compute theoretical equations of state and Raman spectra will complement these experimental data. Geochemical models will quantitatively model chemical mass transfer processes involving minerals and C-O-H fluids in Earth’s crust and mantle.

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Furnas Volcano ECS Multidisciplinary Site

Project Investigators: Facq, Sébastien; Kietäväinen, Riikka; LaRowe, Doug; Price, Roy; Serovaiskii, Aleksandr; Yucel, Mustafa; Steen, Andrew; Zanon, Vittorio ; Miller, Quin; McDermott, Jill; Boulard, Eglantine; Andrade, César; Moreno, Lucía; Huang, Jinxiang; gonzalez, gino; Crespo-Medina, Melitza; Gagliano, Antonina Lisa; Schwarzenbach, Esther; Padilla-Crespo, Elizabeth; Nadeau, Olivier; Cox, Alysia; Thomas, Dana; Masotta, Matteo; Ma, Xiaogang; Kiseeva, Kate; Jesus, Ana Patricia; Hipólito, Ana Rita; Mikhail, Sami; Girault, Frederic; Azua-Bustos, Armando; Linhares, Diana; Pratt, Katie; Fischer, Rebecca; Silva, Catarina; Le Voyer, Marion; Hummer, Daniel; Gautam, Siddharth; Viveiros, Fatima; VISHAL, VIKRAM; Glenn, Ian; Baumberger, Tamara; Osburn, Magdalena; Pacheco, Joana; Barry, Peter

Start Date: 2015-08-31

End Date: 2015-09-05

Summary: At the beginning of September 2015, a group of 47 Early Career Scientists (ECS) met at the University of the Azores, Portugal, for a workshop sponsored by the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO). The workshop was the third in a series of ECS events hosted by DCO, but this time the organizing committee tried something new.

We got permits to sample at Furnas hydrothermal field on São Miguel island, and knowing that we were bringing some very talented scientists to the workshop, we asked them to help plan and implement a day of sampling.

At the end of the workshop, we sent the recovered samples (fluids, sediments, and gases) home with 12 of the attendees. The goal is to generate both an open access publication and an openly available dataset.

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Modeling of Reactive Transport in Fluid-Magma-Solid Systems

Project Investigators: Spiegelmen, Marc; Wilson, Cian ; Sverjensky, Dimitri

Start Date: 2013-10-01

Summary: We aim to explore the geodynamic and geochemical consequences of reactive transport of carbon-bearing fluids and magmas in the Earth’s interior. We will (1) utilize the new experimental and computational results and databases to integrate thermodynamic with geodynamic models of fluid flow, and (2) undertake chemical modeling of reactive transport of carbon-bearing fluids in the mantle.

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Solubility of Carbonate Minerals and Aqueous CO2 Speciation

Project Investigators: Hummer, Daniel; Daniel, Isabelle; Manning, Craig; Sverjensky, Dimitri; Li, Yuan ; Eguchi, James

Start Date: 2011-10-01

End Date: 2013-09-01

Summary: Earth’s deep carbon cycle is strongly influenced by the reactivity of carbonate minerals along the P-T paths on which they are transported through the deep crust and mantle. We will undertake carbonate mineral solubility measurements in a diamond anvil cell optimized for x-ray fluorescence measurements of calcium carbonates in NaCl-H2O solutions at high pressure and temperature. We will also undertake solubility experiments in the presence of silicate minerals to access fluid compositions typical of subduction-zone processes. These experimental data will be used to calculate thermodynamic data relevant for use in geochemical models.

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Transport Properties of Carbon-bearing Silicate Melts and C-H-O Fluids

Project Investigators: Goncharov, Alex; Stixrude, Lars

Start Date: 2011-10-01

End Date: 2013-09-01

Summary: Transport properties of C-bearing fluids are critical because they control how rapidly these fluids are able to move via porous flow, how rapidly they react with their surroundings, and how long they remain at super-solidus temperature. Very little is known about C speciation in fluids relevant to the deep carbon cycle. We will study the transport properties of C-bearing fluids using ab initio molecular dynamics simulations and compare these results with ongoing experiments.

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