The 2016 AGU Fall Meeting, held from 12-15 December in San Francisco, USA, showcased a vast array of international research in Earth and space sciences. DCO researchers contributed nearly 200 presentations to the Fall Meeting and impacted numerous sessions and town halls by presenting new research ranging from the diversity of the subsurface biosphere in continental and marine settings, to carbon degassing in volcanic and tectonic settings, to the structure and composition of Earth’s core.
All of DCO’s Science Communities and crosscutting initiatives had a strong presence at the AGU Meeting. For example, Terry Plank (Columbia University, USA), Rajdeep Dasgupta (Rice University, USA), and Michael Burton (University of Manchester, UK) organized oral and poster sessions on “Deep Carbon: From the Mantle to the Surface and Back Again.” These sessions included presentations from the Reservoirs and Fluxes (RF) Community, Extreme Physics and Chemistry (EPC) Community, and the modeling and visualization initiative. Likewise, a series of sessions on “4 Billion Years of Serpentinization on Earth and Beyond ” included presentations from the Deep Energy (DE) and Deep Life (DL) Communities and the field studies initiative.
The DCO Data Science Team co-authored a series of papers with the carbon mineral evolution group, led by DCO Executive Director Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution for Science, USA), in sessions on “Big Value of Small Data: Realizing the Huge Potential of the Diverse ‘Long Tail’ Communities to Contribute to the Advancement of Science.”
Edward Young (University of California Los Angeles, USA) and collaborators presented a series of papers with new results on methane isotopologues from the Panorama mass spectrometer. A paper by Young and 21 co-authors on “The Relative Abundances of Resolved 12CH2D2 and 13CH3D and Mechanisms Controlling Isotopic Bond Ordering in Abiotic and Biotic Methane” contains data from field sites around the world. Their research integrates DCO’s instrumentation and field studies initiatives.
View all 200 DCO presentations here.
DCO Meetings of Opportunity
Many DCO groups use the AGU Fall Meeting as an opportunity to hold meetings and discussions with colleagues who hail from around the world. Before the AGU Fall Meeting, nearly 60 members of the EPC Community participated in a two-day workshop at Stanford University from 10-11 December. The workshop featured scientific presentations as well as discussion of EPC community goals and progress. The EPC Scientific Steering Committee also convened a meeting during the workshop.
The DCO Executive Committee held a dinner meeting of opportunity on 14 December 2016 that included presentations by guests Ulrich Harms (ICDP, GFZ, Potsdam, Germany) and Peter Kelemen (Columbia University, USA). Harms highlighted opportunities for additional collaborations between DCO and the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, while Kelemen discussed progress and needs of the Oman Drilling Project, which received its initial funding from DCO.
The AGU Meeting provided the opportunity for other DCO leadership groups to meet as well, including the RF Scientific Steering Committee and DCO Synthesis Group 2019.
Focus on Data in Earth Sciences
A central goal for DCO is to leave a lasting legacy of data products that are openly accessible to the scientific community and the public. The 2016 AGU Fall Meeting aided in building this legacy by offering a series of Town Hall meetings and sessions focused on research reproducibility and data acquisition, management, and storage. DCO collaborator Kerstin Lehnert (Columbia University, USA) led several sessions, sharing both her expertise and guidance for best practices.
DCO in the News
Approximately 200 journalists attend the AGU Fall Meeting each year, generating significant press on Earth sciences research and discoveries. This year was no exception, and several high-profile publications featured DCO scientists. Barbara Sherwood Lollar (University of Toronto, Canada) made headlines with her research on the “world’s oldest water,” and Cin-Ty Lee's (Rice University, USA) research about the timing of the appearance of Earth's continents was reported by Science News. The BBC also interviewed Eiji Ohtani (Tohoku University, Japan) about his work on the structure of Earth’s core.
Read more DCO news stories from the meeting here.
DCO is experimenting with new types of sustainable, grassroots community-building events that can potentially continue after the end of the decadal program in 2019. At the AGU Fall Meeting, DCO staged a “poster flashmob” centered on a Wednesday afternoon session about “Deep Carbon: From the Mantle to the Surface and Back Again.” Approximately 30 people joined the flashmob, in which the group moved together along walls of posters. DCO Executive Committee member Terry Plank moderated the flashmob, for a quick-fire half hour of deep carbon science.
DCO scientists appeared on the big screen this year in the AGU Cinema. A film featuring DCO’s Taryn Lopez and Tobias Fischer, produced in collaboration with the DCO Engagement Team, guided viewers on a land and aerial tour of the volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. The film, “Investigating the Volcanoes of the Western Aleutians,” is available on DCO’s YouTube channel here. AGU Cinema in 2016 also featured films from USGS, NOAA, and many others.
The full AGU Cinema program is available here.
Looking to the Future
DCO looks forward to continuing many of these activities at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting in New Orleans, USA—the first time in its 49-year history that a Fall Meeting will take place outside San Francisco. Stay tuned for even more opportunities when the AGU Fall Meeting comes to Washington, DC, home of the DCO Secretariat, in 2018. As 2019 approaches, the AGU Fall Meeting continues to represent a key platform for disseminating DCO science and nurturing the community of deep carbon researchers worldwide.
Missed the AGU Fall Meeting? Review the deep carbon science at AGU using the #DCOatAGU16 hashtag.