Message from the Director - May 2012


DCO Scientists in the News

Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) scientists continue to attract international recognition for their innovative research.  Barbara Sherwood Lollar received the 2012 Eni Award for Protection of the Environment.  The award recognizes her research on compound specific isotope analysis of volatile hydrocarbon contaminants.  Sherwood Lollar serves on the DCO Executive Committee. 

An article on the front page of The Washington Post (18 May 2012), “Ancient life, potentially millions of years old and barely alive, found beneath ocean floor,” is based on a Science paper by Steven D’Hondt and colleagues.  D’Hondt is a member of DCO’s Deep Life Scientific Steering Committee. 

Robert Hazen has received critical acclaim for his latest book, The Story of Earth, which discusses the Deep Carbon Observatory. “A fantastic, stirring read,” says New Scientist.  “Concise and colorful,” writes Nature.  “Cramming billions of years of geological evolution into a single book is a daunting challenge, but it’s one that Hazen, a geophysicist, has risen to splendidly,” says Science News.  The Economist features an in-depth interview with Hazen, who is the Principal Investigator of DCO and a member of the DCO Executive Committee.

DCO Deep Energy Workshop

DCO’s Deep Energy Directorate convened an international workshop that highlighted initial scientific results and future scientific opportunities. Organized by Deep Energy Directorate Co-chairs David Cole and Chris Ballentine, this innovative workshop was held at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris on 3-4 May 2012.

Science Presentations

Chris Ballentine: Tiny Tracers Telling Tall Tales: Nobel Gas Isotopes and Critical Carbon-rich Fluids in the Crust
Long Li: Deep Energy Constraints on Deep Subsurface Waters: Toward a Census of Deep Fluids
Merja Itavaara: Outokumpu Deep Borehole Research Activities During 2011-2012 and Future Plans
Benedicte Menez: Carbon Speciation in the Hydrating Oceanic Lithosphere and Fluxes Mediation by Deep Microbial Ecosystems
Greg Holland: Two-billion-year-old Water Preserved in the Canadian Craton
Igor Tolstikhin: Noble Gases in Hydrocarbons - General Relationships
Mathieu Galvez: Abiotic Synthesis of Carbon Compound by Carbonate Reduction: From Nature to Experiments
Vladimir G. Kutcherov: Synthesis of Complex Hydrocarbon Systems Under High Pressure: Main Results and Problems
Changyong Park: Interactions of C-O-H Fluids with Mineral Surfaces
Alberto Striolo: C-O-H Fluids Near Mineral Surfaces

Science Opportunities

David White: Engaging Industry
Martin Schoell: Abiotic-biotic Hydrocarbon Origins
Celine Dessert: Continental Hydrothermal Systems
Max Coleman: The Carbon Cycle at the World's Deepest Hydrothermal Vents

Related Workshops

Irina Plotnikova: Kazan Workshop
Muriel Andreani: Serpentine Days Workshop
Bernard Marty: Non-volcanic Fluxes of Deep Carbon
Craig Manning: Oman Drilling Project Workshop

Integrative Presentations

Robert Hazen: Earth Data Infrastructure: A DCO Legacy
Jesse Ausubel: Is Methane Destiny?


Claude Jaupart: Welcome and Introductory Remarks
Craig Schiffries: The Deep Carbon Observatory: Transformational Scientific Opportunities
David Cole: Workshop Goals and Overview of Deep Energy
Isabelle Daniel & Mitch Sogin: Overview of Deep Life
Bernard Marty: Overview of Reservoir and Fluxes
Craig Manning: Overview of Physics and Chemistry

Future DCO Events

DCO is convening and co-sponsoring a series of upcoming workshops and meetings, including:

  • Sixth International Symposium on Isotopomers, 18-22 June 2012, Washington, DC, USA
  • Serpentine Days Workshop: 2-6 September 2012, Porquerolles Island, France
  • ICDP Workshop:Oman Drilling Project: 13-17 September 2012, Palisades, NY, USA
  • DCO Executive Committee Meeting: 20-21 September 2012, Berlin, Germany

The Deep Carbon Observatory is also sponsoring scientific sessions and events at upcoming scientific conferences, including the Goldschmidt Conference and Geological Society of America Annual Meeting. 

Craig M. Schiffries

Tel:  (202) 478-8819

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