Goldschmidt 2018: Sessions of Special Interest to DCO

The 28th Goldschmidt Conference will take place at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston from 12-17 August 2018.

The 28th Goldschmidt Conference will take place at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston, USA, from 12-17 August 2018. The full program of the meeting is available here, and includes plenary talks from DCO Science Network members Fumio Inagaki (JAMSTEC, Japan) and Bernard Marty (Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques, France).

Please contact the DCO Engagement Team to add additional items to this page.





Computational thermodynamics and fluid dynamics with the ENKI software portal: An introduction aimed at early career researchers

11 August 2018 09:00 and 12 August 2018 17:00 

Contacts: Mark S. Ghiorso, Marc W. Spiegelman, Aaron S. Wolf

This workshop will provide a hands-on survey of software and modeling tools available at the ENKI-portal. ENKI is an on-going project funded by the National Science Foundation that provides software tools and a computational ecosystem for geochemical simulations that are based on thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. ENKI is aimed at students and researchers interested in using, creating, and maintaining models and in developing interconnected scientific modeling frameworks. We will introduce the capabilities of ENKI and demonstrate how thermodynamic calculations like phase diagrams, pseudosections, geothermobarometers, and mass transfer calculations (MELTS, EQ6, DEW) can be rapidly and easily computed. We also will show how thermochemical databases can be utilized to support fluid dynamical simulations. ENKI currently supports a number of thermodynamic databases and solution model collections, including those of Berman, Holland and Powell, Stixrude and Lithgow-Bertelloni, MELTS, DEW and SUPCRT. Participants will learn how these databases can be extended or recalibrated in light of new data or insights using the model calibration infrastructure provided by ENKI. Attendees will need a laptop for this workshop for real-time access to the ENKI server portal.

Data Science in Geochemistry

12 August 2018 09:00-17:00

Contacts: Lesley Wyborn, Jens Klump, Peter Fox, Megan Carter, Kerstin Lehnert

The rapidly growing volume of geochemical data that are accessible in online synthesis databases and the availability of new information and computing technology together provide geoscientists with new ways to explore, mine, visualize, and analyze geochemical data. This workshop is intended to provide opportunities for researchers, especially early career scientists, to learn about geochemical data resources and tools for mining, visualizing, and statistically analyzing the data, and to explore additional software tools and data resources that advance data science in geochemistry. The workshop will include brief introductions to fundamental aspects of geochemical data management and data access in geochemistry, and provide time for participants to think creatively and design new ways to use and interact with the data and develop research applications. Participants will be encouraged to contribute scientific use cases around which breakout groups can form.



Theme 01: From Stars to Planets

01a: Paleomagnetic and Mineral Physics Observations of the Early Solar System

Conveners: Claire Nichols, James Bryson

Keynote: James Badro (IPGP) 

The formation and thermal evolution of the solar system, planetesimals and the early Earth can be constrained, in part, by geochemical observations. These observations may be supported and enhanced by paleomagnetism. Magnetic fields in the early solar system range from those created by the solar nebula, down to those generated within planetesimals. Magnetic fields require convection of electrically conductive material. Thus their presence can be used to constrain the structure and dynamics of early planetesimals and the nebula. By combining geochemical and paleomagnetic observations, a better understanding of processes such as the timescale of core formation, dynamo activity, differentiation and accretion may be acquired. Paleomagnetic observations may also place vital constraints on the nucleation and properties of Earth’s inner core, which may have consequences for the composition of the atmosphere and habitability of our planet. In this session, we ask for contributions on 1) paleomagnetic, rock magnetic and mineral physics observations regarding the magnetism and material properties of early Earth; 2) paleomagnetic and geochemical observations of extraterrestrial materials aimed at constraining the history, formation and origin of their parent bodies.

01c: Geochemists Infiltrate the Solar System: The Geological Evolution of Small Bodies, Moons, and Planets

Conveners: Tanya Peretyazhko, Elisabeth Hausrath, Christopher Glein, Steve Vance, James Darling, Carolyn Crow

Keynote: Doug Ming (NASA, Joshnson Space Center)

The amazingly diverse planetary bodies in our Solar System each hold valuable clues into planetary evolution and processes that may allow life to develop. From studies of the Moon and Mars to outer Solar System bodies, this session seeks to unleash the full spectrum of geochemistry to explore linkages and anomalies in geological processes across the Solar System. We hope that bringing together scientists from across this vast field will promote discussion and broaden perspectives on the implications of recent findings. We welcome observational, analogue, laboratory-based, and theoretical perspectives on the structure, magmatic-volcanic-hydrothermal evolution, isotopic composition, impact cratering records, surface processes and alteration, mineral formation, organic geochemistry and habitability of Solar System worlds. Of particular interest are recent results from studies of planetary materials, space missions (Curiosity, Cassini, Dawn, Juno, New Horizons, Rosetta), and geochemical approaches for future missions (including but not limited to Mars 2020 Rover, InSight, ExoMars, Europa Clipper, Saturn probe, Ocean Worlds Exploration Program).

01g: Using Volatile Elements to Understand the Origin, Early Evolution, and Habitability of the Terrestrial Planets

Conveners: Jonathan Tucker, Sami Mikhail

Keynote: Patricia Clay (University of Manchester)

Highly volatile elements such as carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, the halogens, and the noble gases are key constituents of planetary atmospheres, but they are also stored and cycled throughout planetary interiors (i.e. mantles and cores). As such, these elements both passively record planetary-scale processes, as well as actively influence the properties and evolution of the planets. Volatile elements are also critically important in shaping the disparate surface conditions of the telluric planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) and the Moon. However, substantial questions persist regarding the origin and evolution of the volatile elements across the inner Solar System. These include their elemental and isotopic distributions and behaviors in planets and planetary precursor materials; their fate during accretionary processes such as impacts, core formation, and magma ocean events; the timing and mechanisms of their delivery to planets; and their overall budgets, among many others. In this session, we will synthesize observations, experiments, and modeling to better understand the provenance and behavior of volatiles in the terrestrial planets. We seek to address questions on the origin and early evolution of the terrestrial planets by examining how critical events and processes are recorded and affected by volatile elements.

Theme 02: Mantle and Core

02b: The Evolution of Earth’s Mantle: Heterogeneity Understood Using Modern Analytical Techniques

Conveners: Christopher DeFelice, Soumen Mallick, Heye Freymuth, Davide Novella, Nicola Tosi, Dmitri Ionov

Earth’s mantle, over 4.56 Ga, has undergone significant fractionation and mixing via convection and introduction of differentiated material via subduction and delamination processes involving the lithosphere. As a result, both isotopic and geophysical heterogeneities has long been recognized and viewed as an important area of focus in understanding the evolution of the Earth. Sampling of this material is limited to intra-plate volcanism and plate boundaries. This has led to an increased focus on analytical precision and developing new techniques, such as the measurement of high precision radiogenic isotopes and the non-traditional stable isotope ratios. These techniques have led to major breakthroughs in our understanding of the geochemical evolution of the inner Earth and the processes that produce heterogeneities. This session invites contributions that include but are not limited to traditional radiogenic isotope geochemistry, non-traditional stable isotope geochemistry, experimental petrology and numerical models that advance our understanding of Earth’s interior.

02c: Budgets and Isotopic Compositions of Volatiles in the Interior of the Earth and Other Terrestrial Planets

Conveners: Qingyang Hu, Jin Liu, Sonja Aulbach, Sebastian Tappe, Alberto Saal, Jim van Orman

Keynotes: Michael Walter (University of Bristol), Bernard Wood (University of Oxford)

Volatile elements (highly and moderately volatile elements including C-H-N-S, as well as noble gases) and their isotopic compositions are critical for understanding the genesis and evolution of terrestrial planets. Volatiles influence, and are affected by, planetary differentiation, mantle convection, plate tectonics, melt evolution, magma eruption dynamics, and the development of atmospheres. The influence and fate of each volatile species in planetary processes through time can be interrogated using natural samples, as well as experimental and numerical simulations. We invite contributions from across all domains of planetary and Earth sciences - from analytical geochemistry and experimental petrology to mineral physics, rock mechanics and numerical modelling - on volatile elements, their isotopes and their speciation.

02d: The Origin and Coupled Evolution of Planetary Cores and Mantles

Conveners: Kelsey Prissel, Corliss Kin I Sio, George Helffrich, Radjeep Dasgupta

The Earth’s core was formed during planetary accretion, as a result of gravitational segregation of metal from silicate made possible by collisions between differentiated or undifferentiated planetesimals. The conditions accompanying metal-silicate differentiation are responsible for the chemistry of both the core and mantle. After accretion, the core and mantle reservoirs continued to evolve as the early Earth cooled rapidly during a magma ocean phase, and then more slowly after the formation of an atmosphere. Changes in composition, pressure, and temperature over time have resulted in the present-day physical and chemical properties observed for Earth’s core and mantle. Similar accretion and differentiation processes may have occurred on other planetary bodies, and the extent to which their core-mantle evolutions are similar to that of Earth is expected to be a function of a planet’s bulk composition, size, and cooling history. We welcome contributions that employ experimental, geophysical, and computational approaches alongside compositional constraints from natural samples to elucidate the conditions, mechanisms, and timing of planetary accretion and core-mantle differentiation. Additionally, we hope to highlight the importance of both equilibrium and kinetic processes during the coupled evolution of planetary cores and mantles.

02e: Magmas and their Cargoes as Tracers of Mantle Evolution: Implications for Chemical Geodynamics

Conveners: Matthew Jackson, Andrea Giuliani

Keynote: Esteban Gazel (Cornell University)

Magmas and their mantle xenolith cargoes provide us with a unique opportunity to investigate the extent and longevity of mantle heterogeneity through time. Tracing the composition of the Earth from early mantle differentiation to recycling of surface components into the deep mantle requires detailed investigation of mantle-derived magmas and the xenoliths they carry. The variety of magma compositions seen testifies to the complex processes affecting magmas during ascent and emplacement, as well as compositional variations in the Earth’s mantle. This complexity requires a detailed deconvolution to unravel the source signatures. This session aims to gather contributions on the geochemistry and petrology of mantle-derived magmas (ocean island basalts, mid-ocean ridge basalts, komatiites, kimberlites, carbonatites and other alkaline magmas, etc.) and their mantle xenoliths at both oceanic and continental setting. We welcome studies that provide insights into the composition of mantle sources and their evolution through time, as well as the processes that influence the formation, ascent and emplacement of mantle-derived magmas. We also encourage submissions that address the geodynamic evolution of the mantle away from collisional zones using combinations of geochemical and geophysical observations, and numerical models. 

02f: Mineralogy, Petrology and Processes in the Mantle Transition Zone and the Lower Mantle

Conveners: Greg Yaxley, Antony Burnham

Keynote: Robert van der Hilst (MIT)

The earth’s mantle transition zone (MTZ) is that region of the mantle bounded by global seismic discontinuities at depths of 410 and 660 km. These depths closely correspond to phase transitions of upper mantle olivine to the wadsleyite structure and ringwoodite to bridgmanite and ferropericlase, respectively. The latter mineral assemblage is stable almost all the way to the outer core, with post-perovskite replacing bridgmanite only at the base of the lower mantle. Recent suggestions that these extremely deep parts of the earth may be very significant reservoirs of water, and inferences that some diamonds formed there, have profound implications for a range of petrological and physical processes, as well as for understanding the Earth’s deep water and carbon cycles. This session invites multidisciplinary contributions from geochemistry, petrology, geophysics, geodynamics and mineral physics that explore the nature of the MTZ and the lower mantle, and processes occurring within them. Questions to be addressed might include (1) How do sub-lithospheric diamonds and their inclusions form? (2) How do they get to the surface? (3) What do they tell us about the abundances, speciation and physical distribution of volatiles in the MTZ and lower mantle? (4) What lithologies are present, what are their chemical compositions and physical distributions, and how does this relate to the isotopic variability seen in oceanic basalts? (5) What are the physical properties of the MTZ and lower mantle and what constraints do they place on chemistry and mineralogy? (6) What effects do volatiles have on physical properties of these lithologies under the relevant conditions? (7) What is the temperature distribution in the MTZ and lower mantle? (8) Could melts exist there? (9) What roles do deeply subducted slabs play in MTZ and lower mantle processes?

02g: Diamonds, their Inclusions and Host Rocks

Conveners: Andrew Thomson, Emilie Thomassot, Sami Mikhail, Oded Navon

Keynote: Dorrit Jacob (Macquarie University)

Diamonds are rare minerals, however, these fascinating geological samples have succeeded to shed precious light on many important mantle processes. They form in a hugely diverse range of geological settings, from subduction zones to cratonic lithospheres, the convecting mantle, impacts and the atmospheres and interiors of extra-terrestrial planetary bodies. Diamonds are super-hard, chemically inert, and have the highest melting point in nature. A consequence of these unique physical properties means that diamonds act as “time capsules”, protecting geochemical information over billions of years from crystallisation to the present day. Natural diamonds provide an unparalleled tool to study the physical and chemical state of planetary interiors across geological time. Recent improvements in analytical techniques, providing greater analytical precision and better spatial resolution have unravelled some of the paradigms of diamond formation and expanded the scope of diamond research. We welcome all petrological, mineralogical, geochemical, experimental, and theoretical contributions focusing on diamonds, their inclusions and their host rocks. This session is an opportunity to discuss cutting-edge issues surrounding diamonds, such as the relationship between diamond growth or tectonic events and radiometric dates from diamond-hosted inclusions, the evolution of deep carbon cycle, the redox state of the mantle, discoveries of new inclusion types, and the connection between this extraordinary mineral and planetary geodynamics.

02h: Carbon at Extremes

Conveners: Alexandra Navrotsky, Reinhard Bohler

The global geochemical cycle of carbon has been the focus of the Deep Carbon Observatory which has generated much new data and ideas. Particularly at great depth and under reducing conditions (the lower mantle and core), the amount and chemical state of carbon is not yet well constrained. In the outer solar system and exoplanets (e.g. the interiors of gas giant and diamond-rich planets) , carbon may take on very different states from those near ambient conditions. This session will focus on a number of questions. What is the high P-T stability and state of carbonates? Where and to what extent can carbon occur in solid, amorphous, and molten silicate phase assemblages, especially under reducing conditions? How important are carbides (and nitrides and carbonitrides) under extreme conditions? What is the role of carbon nanophases of all sorts (nanodiamond, buckyballs, graphene)? For vaporization-condensation regimes (early planetary conditions, moon formation), what carbon-containing phases can form as transients? What can we learn from technological processes forming complex Si-C-O-H materials and carbides, especially of transition metals? How can carbon be hosted elsewhere in the universe under very different P,T,X regimes? The goal of the session is to bring together representatives of the geochemical, geophysical, planetary, and materials communities to think broadly and creatively about possible scenarios.

Theme 03: Earth's Lithosphere Formation, Evolution, Recycling, and Subduction

03d: Multidisciplinary Insights into Subduction Zone Processes

Conveners: Joshua Garber, Paul Starr, Edward Inglis, Kevin Burton, Besim Dragovic

Keynote: Pierre Bouihol (CRPG, University of Loraine)

Understanding the physical and chemical processes that occur at subduction zones is of importance in constraining i) the mechanisms and forces that drive plate tectonics; ii) chemical exchange between surface and deep terrestrial reservoirs; iii) seismic and volcanic hazards on human timescales; and iv) the generation of arc crust. As such, understanding feedbacks between these processes is of paramount importance to elucidating subduction-zone dynamics. This session seeks to link aspects of subduction zone petrology and geochemistry and is concerned with placing better constraints on the temporal and spatial evolution of subduction-zone processes. We invite abstracts that are concerned with, but not limited to, geochemical cycling and interactions occurring within subduction zones (including elemental and isotopic studies); geochronological constraints on subduction zone metamorphism and its evolution; field-based studies of subduction zone terranes; rheological and petrological experiments; and numerical modeling of subduction zone dynamics. We are particularly interested in assessing feedbacks between different physical and chemical systematics, and reconciling disparate datasets or interpretations attained by distinct methodologies – including those on either a global or regional scale.

03e: The Continents: Origin, Evolution and Interactions with Other Reservoirs

Conveners: Fang-Zhen Teng, Cin-Ty Lee, Sonja Aulbach, Xiaoming Liu

Keynote: Ming Tang (Rice University)

Much effort has been expended over the past thirty years in understanding the origin and evolution of the continents and their interactions with the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and the mantle through time. This session will focus on the composition and structure of continental lithosphere (crust + mantle) in the context of its formation and evolution. Observational, experimental and theoretical insights from petrology, mineralogy, geochemistry, or geophysics are desired.

03f: Metamorphic Records of Lithospheric Processes: Everyday, Exceptional, and Extreme

Conveners: Victor Guevara, Daniel Viete, Matthew Kohn, Jay Ague

Keynote: Rubatto Daniela (University of Bern)

Metamorphic rocks are an archive of lithospheric-scale geodynamic processes. This session is a general call for contributions that focus on the study of exhumed metamorphic rocks across a variety of length-scales to inform our understanding of the mechanisms for heat and mass transfer through Earth’s lithosphere, and how such mechanisms have evolved throughout Earth history. We particularly encourage submissions that emphasize: novel perspectives on classic, “everyday” metamorphic paradigms (e.g. deviations from thermodynamic equilibrium or lithostatic pressure), exceptional cases of rapid (< 1 Myr) or prolonged (>100 Myrs) episodes of metamorphism, and extreme (e.g. UHT, UHP) examples of crustal metamorphism. This session aims to consider the role of metamorphic processes in geodynamics and lithospheric evolution at all length-scales—from sub-microscopic to outcrop and orogenic.

03h: Experimenting and Geochemical Fingerprinting at Plate Boundaries: Quantification of Fluid–Melt–Residue Interplay at Ridges and Subduction Zones

Conveners: Yildirim Dilek, Véronique Le Roux, Ali Polat, Christy Till

Keynote: Andrew Matzen (University of Oxford)

Experimental petrology and field-based geochemical studies of igneous and metamorphic rocks from mid-ocean ridges and subduction zone settings show that both mantle peridotites and fluids–melts-crustal material that interact with them are compositionally variable due to slab-driven recycling mechanisms, presence of volatiles, oxidation mechanisms, diffusional processes, magma mixing, and rates–nature of upwelling processes. Therefore, magmas and mantle residues evolving in seafloor spreading environments at mid-ocean ridges and subduction zones are highly heterogeneous. Quantifying the interplay between fluid-melt and residue at plate boundaries through interdisciplinary investigations can help us better understand the mantle dynamics and its evolution through time. In this session we welcome contributions from experimental igneous–metamorphic studies and geochemical–isotopic investigations of peridotites/ophiolites at ridge settings and subduction zones that examine: trace element behavior and partitioning during melting and melt–fluid percolation, mode and nature of mantle depletion and enrichment, dehydration/re-hydration reactions in subducted slabs and their influence on mantle chemistry, scales and development of mantle heterogeneities, mechanisms of asthenospheric upwelling that facilitate melt and solid earth material transport to spreading centers, and records of crustal and mantle recycling processes through plate tectonics.

03j: Linking the Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, and Biosphere Through Serpentinization Reactions

Conveners: Esther Schwarzenbach, Lisa Mayhew, Chiara Boschi, Alberto Vitale Brovarone

Keynote: Laurie Barge (NASA)

Serpentinization and associated reactions are a key geological process linking the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. The hydration of ultramafic rocks, which is the alteration of primary igneous minerals to secondary phases including serpentine group minerals, affects many global geochemical cycles. The production of hydrogen and reduced carbon species during serpentinization provides metabolic energy for chemolithoautotrophic ecosystems. During water-rock interaction various elements (e.g., Mg, Ca, C, B, and S) are exchanged between rock and fluid due to both abiogenic and biogenic processes. This chemical exchange and the mineralogical transformations have substantial effects on the chemical budget of the oceans; the chemical, seismic, magnetic, and rheological properties of the oceanic lithosphere; and the chemistry and redox state of the mantle through transportation of various species (e.g., H2O, C, S, Fe) into subduction zones. This session invites recent discoveries of the wide range of serpentinization related processes in order to share ideas across the broader serpentinization research community. Studies of the chemical, biological or physical transformations, petrology, mineral alteration mechanisms and kinetics, and volatile transfer (CO2, H2O, O2, SO2) are all welcome. We specifically encourage interdisciplinary contributions that investigate the links between mineral alteration, methane production and consumption, carbon sequestration and microbial activity in these settings. Work addressing the rate and temperature of these processes is especially welcome. Studies of natural, experimental and numerically modeled systems at mid ocean ridges, subduction zones, or ophiolite systems and comparisons between systems are all encouraged.

Theme 04: Magmas and Volcanoes

04a: From Geochemistry to Geodynamics, Volatile Cycling and Planetary Habitability: Where, When, How?

Conveners: Megan Duncan, Matthew Weller

Keynote: David Catling (University of Washington)

Constraining the long-term cycle of volatiles (e.g., C, H, S, N, He, Xe, etc.) through planetary systems is critical toward understanding the evolution of any planet. Potential ingassing, outgassing, and regassing via deep and shallow recycling processes likely affected the early habitability of planets, such as the Earth, and continues to affect the present day atmospheric composition and magmatic processes. We invite submissions that use a combination of measurements of natural samples, experiments, and modeling to address some of the following questions: What, when, and how are volatiles recycled, lost, and stored? What are the signatures at the surface, e.g., isotopic measurements of arc volcanic rocks or gases? How has it changed over time, and what are its continued implications?

04e: Magma Production and Emplacement Rates, Tempos, Timescales for Crustal Transport and Storage, and Eruptive Fluxes

Conveners: Christoph Beier, Michael Bizimis, Rebecca Lange, Stephen Turner

Keynote: Christy B. Till (Arizona State University)

There is increasing evidence that rates of melt generation in the mantle and rates of basalt emplacement into the crust vary not only between tectonic settings, but also within a single tectonic setting over time. How variations in the tempo of melt production and emplacement affect subsequent transport pathways through the crust, regions of storage, degree of differentiation, and eruptive fluxes are areas of active research. We encourage contributions that investigate the interplay between magmatic processes and timescales of magma evolution, including all aspects of magma production, emplacement rates, and how changes in tempo affect melt transport pathways and storage in the crust, degree of differentiation, and eruptive fluxes. Contributions that involve geochronology, mineral diffusion profiles, thermal modeling, crystal nucleation and growth rates, and other related topics are welcome.

04g: Magma Dynamics in Volcanic Environments: Crystallization, Mixing, and Contamination Processes

Conveners: Silvio Mollo, Matteo Masotta, Keith Putirka, Olivier Bachmann, Piergiorgio Scarlato

Keynote: Madeleine Humphreys (Durham University)

Magma dynamics have important effects on both texture and composition of the products erupted from active volcanoes worldwide. The ascent of magmas towards the surface occurs under variable pressure, temperature, and volatile conditions. These parameters change over a wide spectrum of spatial and temporal scales, controlling several magmatic processes such as crystallization, mixing with new magma batches, and interaction with crustal materials. In this session, we welcome mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical contributions that provide insights on how magma dynamics studied either in laboratory or in nature can ultimately affect the volcanic rocks in terms of cooling and degassing mechanisms, crystal-melt-liquid element partitioning, major, trace element and isotopic compositional changes of minerals/glasses/bulk rocks, magma mixing and contamination phenomena.

04i: Magma Genesis beneath Oceans and Continents: Source Signatures and Melting Processes

Conveners: Oliver Shorttle, Lucy McGee, Kenneth Sims, Richard Katz

Keynote: Jessica Warrne (University of Delaware)

Lavas erupted at mid-ocean ridges, ocean islands, and in intra-continental settings show both spatial and temporal variability in their chemical and isotopic compositions. This variability contains a wealth of information about mantle sources and magma genesis and is interpreted to be either an expression of long-lived chemical heterogeneity of the mantle source or physical heterogeneity of the melt generation and magma transport processes. The former considers spatial variations of elements in the mantle prior to melting; while the latter is typically discussed in terms of source fusability, magmatic segregation and melt-rock reaction, which control the length scales, time scales and fluxes of melt ascent. Ultimately, it is likely that both source and process are controlling the lava's composition. This session invites contributions of observations, experiments and models, and their combined application, to help disentangle how mantle heterogeneity and melting processes are manifest in the chemical and isotopic compositions of basalts from mid-ocean ridges, ocean islands and continental interiors.

04j: Magmatic Volatiles: Melt Inclusion, Experimental, and Theoretical Approaches to Understanding Melt and Gas Evolution

Conveners: Kayla Iacovino, Yves Moussallam, Glenn Gaetani, Estelle Rose-Koga

Keynote: Nolwenn Le Gall (University of Manchester)

We invite contributions that apply mineral-hosted melt inclusions (MI), experimental, and thermodynamic modeling approaches to interpreting magmatic volatiles. We will look at the types of problems addressed using MI data, available analytical tools, and protocols for dealing with complications such as post-entrapment crystallization, diffusive re-equilibration, and the presence of vapor bubbles. We encourage submissions that highlight the diversity of problems that can be addressed using MI, as well as technique oriented contributions that highlight advances in analytical methods and protocols for dealing with post-entrapment modifications. Potential topics include: The relative strengths and weaknesses of FTIR, SIMS and LA-ICPMS; best practices for reconstructing total CO2 when vapor bubbles are present; the reliability of H2O concentrations; or, the oxidation state of Fe recorded in MI. From dissolved volatiles to exsolved bubbles and from ascending bubbles to volcanic plumes, the “volatile” phase of magmatic systems experiences drastic transformations on its way to the surface. Understanding these transformations in detail is with each step of the process governed by thermodynamic equations. We invite contributions that seek to integrate stages of magmatic volatile evolution from mantle to surface using experimental, analytical, and analogue techniques. Studies aimed at defining thermodynamic relationships and models using these relationships to understand each step of the degassing process are particularly welcome.

Theme 05: Mineral and Energy Resources

05l: Resources for the Future Let There be Light! Helium and Hydrogen Gas as Resources for the Future

Conveners: Barbara Sherwood Lollar, Alain Prinzhofer, Chris Ballentine

Natural hydrogen gas and helium are the two lightest natural molecules on Earth. Both present a huge industrial potential: as feedstocks for petrochemistry, ammonium synthesis, and as clean sustainable resources. Geological and geochemical knowledge of the origin, production rates and storage of these compounds are still poorly developed however. Recent discoveries has highlighted continent settings with macro- and micro-gas seeps, and deep storage of gases made up of a mixture of unconventional gases such as H2, N2, CO2, Ar, CH4 and He in variable proportions. These associations need to be understood, in order to assess generative fluxes and kitchens of generation. The possible origins of these compounds are various but include a wide variety of water-rock reactions including reduction of water, ammonium decomposition, Sabatier reactions, radiolysis and natural radioactivity. The relative importance of these production processes, versus sinks and storage remain largely unknown. This session is organized in order to compare different approaches (mineral and organic geochemistry, hydrogeology, specific proxies as associated noble gases, metallic trace elements and other proxies, etc.). These issues present paramount importance for the understanding of the potential of these natural resources and associated gases such as CO2, Ar.

Theme 07: Chemistry of the Oceans and Atmosphere

07k: Seafloor Hydrothermal Processes on Modern and Ancient Earth: Implications for Life, Elemental Budgets, and Oxidation States of the Lithosphere-Hydrosphere-Atmosphere System

Conveners: Benjamin Tutolo, Nicholas Pester

Keynote: Nicholas Tosca (University of Oxford)

Seafloor hydrothermal systems have profoundly influenced the chemistry, biology, and oxidation state of Earth’s lithosphere-hydrosphere-atmosphere system throughout Earth history. However, their very nature within the oceanic crust drastically limits the temporal extent of direct geologic observations of their existence. Thus, attempts to correlate seafloor hydrothermal processes with biological evolution, global elemental budgets, and global redox states throughout Earth history generally require interdisciplinary studies that integrate studies of modern analogues, extrapolations of the geologic record, novel laboratory experiments, and numerical models. In this session, we intend to host a forum for presenting and integrating these various sets of observations in order to focus the community’s efforts on answering key questions regarding chemical budgets and oxidation states on modern and ancient Earth. In particular, we invite contributions focusing on seafloor measurements of modern hydrothermal systems; studies of recovered oceanic drill core, obducted oceanic lithosphere, or proxy records in ancient sedimentary rocks; experimental exploration of seafloor (bio)geochemical interactions; and integrative numerical models that expand the spatiotemporal scales of these field and experimental observations. Specific focuses could include the role of igneous oceanic crust alteration processes in the geologic carbon cycle, the contribution of submarine volcanism to the oxidation state of the early Earth, changes in ocean chemistry associated with the relative balance of continental weathering and seafloor hydrothermal fluxes, and the relation between these factors and tempos and milestones of biological evolution.

Theme 08: Climate of the Past, Present, and Future

08h: Duration, Causes and Responses of Carbon Cycle Perturbations in the Phanerozoic

Conveners: Aisha Al-Suwaidi, Micha Ruhl

Throughout the Phanerozoic, carbon cycle perturbations resulting from volcanic degassing, methane clathrate/hydrate release, upwelling, hydrothermal venting and other sources, have been recorded in a wide range of geological media from bulk sediments to biological material such as foram tests. For this session we encourage the submission of research which integrates timescale calibration through geochemical proxy data (eg. handheld and whole core XRF, biomarkers, stable and non-traditional isotopes) to understand the causal link and duration of events in the Phanerozoic. We especially encourage studies integrating geochronology, astrochronology, geochemistry and biostratigraphy, creating stratigraphical records which inform our understanding of the duration and rate of change of geochemical perturbations in Earth's past, and which allow us to better constrain the timescales at which Earth system processes respond and recover from environmental perturbations. Abstracts that address the timing of major (global) geochemical perturbations through modelling are also strongly encouraged.

Theme 09: Co-Evolving Life and Environments Through Deep Time

09h: Building an Integrated Theory of Earth Evolution: Linking Earth’s Thermochemical, Tectonic, and Biogeochemical Evolution

Conveners: A. D. Anbar, Christy Till, Ann Bauer, Devon Cole

Keynote: Kanani Lee (Yale University)

The evolution of life and of Earth’s biogeochemical cycles are inextricably linked to the evolution of the solid Earth. A systems perspective seems critical. The emergence of life, the rise of an aerobic biosphere, biological radiations, mass extinctions, and even human evolution—these events and their placement in time were shaped by the trajectory of Earth’s internal differentiation and dynamics, and their expression in surface tectonics and volcanism, ultimately driven by Earth's secular cooling. What are the relationships between solid Earth evolution, tectonic processes, and surface biogeochemical cycles leading up to the Great Oxidation Event and into the Proterozoic? In this session, we will explore significant links between the processes of plate tectonic initiation, continental emergence, and chemical evolution of Earth’s mantle with glacial and climatic cycles, the origin and evolution of life, and shifts in surface nutrient and redox cycles. We invite both observational and theoretical approaches that explore the evolving links between Earth's interior and surface environments, as well as contributions that contest this perspective from the late Archean through the GOE and the mid-Proterozoic.

09j: Biological Approaches and Modern Analogues for Reconstructing the Co-evolution of Early Life and its Environment

Conveners: Michelle Gehringer, Elizabeth Swanner, Trinity Hamilton, David Flannery

Keynote: Bill Martin (Heinrich-Heine-Universitaet Duesseldorf)

This theme recognizes the co-evolution of life and the chemistry of its environment, as recorded in modern genomes and analogue environments. Specific to deep time is the interaction of microbial life, through its varied metabolic capabilities on influencing Earth’s geochemical evolution.  This session will focus on integrative approaches that assess the biological and chemical signatures of microbial life through analyses of the genomic data, laboratory or modeling experiments, or the utilization of modern environments as analogues. We anticipate studies will span the range of techniques in geochemistry, from molecular tools to characterize microbes involved in biogeochemical reactions, to isotopic proxies and tracers, and mineral formation and diagenetic pathways.

Theme 10: Geobiology, Organic Tracers, and Biogeochemistry

10a: Geomicrobiology and Microbial Persistence in the Deep Biosphere

Conveners: Jiasong Fang, Lars Wörmer, Kasper Kjeldsen, Beth Orcutt, Yohey Suzuki

Keynote: Verena Heuer (MARUM University of Bremen)

The continental and marine subsurface hosts microbial life that is involved in globally-significant geochemical transformations while existing under energy limitation and other extreme conditions. Recent advances in developing new and improved detection techniques, lowering detection limits, and increasing single cell and molecular-level resolution have uncovered new information about the size and forms of microbial life in this biosphere, physiologies of microbial groups, and possible evolutionary and adaptation mechanisms at play. However, much is still to be learned about the limits, diversity, extent and function of deep biosphere life. This session invites multidisciplinary contributions that present new findings from continental and/or marine subsurface environments, including “windows" into these systems such as deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps as well as hot springs and mud volcanoes on land and in the ocean. In particular, we welcome contributions that highlight strategies of microbial persistence in the deep biosphere, such as the formation and dispersal of endospores and other persistence forms.

10b: Co-evolution of Geobiology and Geochemistry: From Molecules to Models

Conveners: Nagissa Mahmoudi, Michelle Gehringer

Keynote: Andy Ridgwell (Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside)

The habitability of the Earth today is crucially dependent on the interaction of numerous biogeochemical cycles, most importantly the C, N and O cycles, with the evolution and diversification of life. Understanding the timing of evolution allows us to more accurately interpret how biological and geological processes co-evolved on Earth. Theme 10b invites multi-disciplinary session contributions that explore the co-evolution of the geosphere and biosphere in order to understand how small-scale changes may have led to broader changes in ocean, crustal and atmospheric geochemical conditions. Specifically, we seek a broad range of session contributions that employ field, laboratory and/or modelling-based approaches as well as tools ranging from molecular biology to geochemistry. This includes studies focused on the rock record, modern systems and/or theory and models that present new findings into the co-evolution of biological and geological processes on Earth.

10c: Organic-Microbe-Rock Interactions in Hydrothermal Systems

Conveners: Ziming Yang, Charlene Estrada, Francois Guyot, Frieder Klein, William Orsi

Keynote: Susan Lang (University of South Carolina)

Hydrothermal systems play a major role in the planetary geochemical cycles with multifaceted implications for chemical, physical, and biological processes in a range of geodynamic settings on Earth and possibly other water-bearing planetary bodies. Such systems are habitable for microbial life, which affects the composition of rocks and fluids and may result in a complex array of organic compounds. This session explores both biotic and abiotic interactions among organic molecules, rocks, fluids, and microorganisms in hydrothermal systems such as terrestrial hot springs and deep-ocean hydrothermal vents. This session welcomes contributions from theoretical, experimental, and field studies on biological, chemical, and physical processes in hydrothermal systems.

10d: What the Flux?: Bridging Biogeochemical Cycles to Advance our Understanding of Novel Metabolism and Cryptic Connections

Conveners: Aubrey Zerkle, Gilad Antler, Peter Girgius, Robinson Fulweiler

Keynote: Alyssa Findlay (Aarhus University)

Microbes play an immense, essential role in the biogeochemical cycling of major and minor elements through the Earth system, ultimately controlling the state of the oceans, atmosphere and climate. Over the last thirty-five years, advances in genomics and other technologies have illuminated the microbial realm, fundamentally changing our understanding of microbial functional and physiological diversity, ecology, and evolution. Additionally, recent detailed monitoring of biogeochemical cycles has revealed the presence of novel metabolisms connecting elemental cycles, as well as hidden, or cryptic, cycles that have been overlooked due to balance between the gross and the net rates. Even after decades of research, however, there are long-standing, fundamental questions regarding the nature and extent of microbial activity in situ. These questions can be addressed if we gain a better understanding of microbial community dynamics and resulting activity, from the local to global scales. This session aims to attract submissions that cross traditional disciplinary boundaries (e.g., marine, terrestrial and atmospheric scientists) to help bridge the gap in our knowledge of the role microbes play in governing biogeochemistry and the geochemical "evolution" our biosphere. We welcome theoretical, experimental and field-based studies, spanning various spatial and temporal scales (cellular-level to planetary) that explore the presence, mechanisms, and broader relevance of novel and cryptic biogeochemical pathways.

10f: Honoring John Hayes: Molecular and Isotopic Biogeochemistry Across Time and Space

Conveners: Roger Summons, Ann Pearson, Felix J. Elling, Kevin Becker, Katherine Freeman, Alex Sessions

This session is convened to celebrate and advance the scholarly work of John M. Hayes. Hayes' fascination with isotopic systematics, and precise methodologies for gathering isotope data for individual molecules, embraced every conceivable angle. His wide-ranging work included measurements of isotopic fractionations that can be observed at individual carbon atoms in the lipids of cultured microbes, lipid structures and their isotopic compositions in environmental samples, and it extended all the way to studies of biogeochemical processes operating on a global scale and through deep time. The tools that he invented and/or inspired now find far-reaching use in the fields of geochemistry, geobiology, climate science, microbial ecology, medicine, forensics and prehistory. We invite all contributions on molecular and isotopic biogeochemistry including development of methodological toolkits, lipidomics, and studies that combine these approaches with other -omics techniques (e.g., metagenomics, proteomics, metabolomics). We particularly encourage studies that pertain to the history of life on Earth.

10h: Traditional and Non-Traditional Stable Isotopes in Geobiology and Biogeochemistry

Conveners: Daniel Stolper, Alexis Gilbert, William Leavitt, Sebastian Kopf, Juraj Farkas, Elizabeth Griffith

Stable isotopes are critical tools in geobiology and for the quantitative study of biogeochemical cycles in the present and past. For example, isotopic measurements can allow for the establishment of whether or not a molecule was synthesized or interacted with living organisms and allow for quantitative reconstructions of past biogeochemical cycles. Accurate reconstructions past biological signatures and geochemical processes based on the stable isotopic composition of earth materials requires an understanding of the mechanics how processes fractionate isotopes and are preserved in the rock record. This session seeks to bring together individuals working on a variety of topics in stable isotope biogeochemistry and geomicrobiology. Isotope systems of choice may include: traditional (e.g. H, C, N, O, S, Sr), emerging alkaline earth metals (e.g., Ca, Mg, Sr, Ba) and redox proxies (e.g., Fe, Cr, Mo) as well as ‘new’ isotopic methods and systems (e.g. clumped and position-specific isotope measurements, or elements with more than three stable isotopes (e.g., O, S, Hg). We encourage submissions that will aid in the dialogue between groups working on modern, experimental, abiotic or biological isotopic signatures, with those working to use these systems to interpret the geologic record.

10i: Omics in Action: Application of Genomics and Proteomics to Biogeochemical Cycling

Conveners: Jacob Waldbauer, Andrew Steen, Eric Roden, Eric Boyd

Novel technologies for chemical analysis, nucleic acid sequencing, and supporting data analysis pipelines are becoming standard tools in biogeochemical investigations. Such tools can be applied to field samples, revealing the structure and function of microbial communities and the nature of the compounds with which they interact. 'Omics techniques such as analysis of 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, shotgun sequencing of total community DNA and/or RNA, mass-spectrometry-based proteomic, enzyme assays and analysis of orgnaic matter composition can be applied individually or in combination to gain unprecedented insight into the role microorgnaisms play in the geochemical cycle of virtually any system. The goal of this session is to showcase examples of how these approaches are being combined to analyze field-scale systems and processes. So called “cryptic” processes that involve novel pathways and microbial interactions are of particular interest, as are detailed dissections of well-established biogeochemical phenomena. This session will present cutting-edge work that links the molecular systems biology of cells and organisms to large-scale biogeochemical fluxes, towards the goal of building mechanistic and predictive models of the responses of those fluxes to environmental change.

Further Reading

DCO at Goldschmidt 2018
DCO Highlights Deep Carbon Science at the 2018 Goldschmidt Conference

A large contingent of DCO researchers will participate in Goldschmidt 2018 on 12–17 August in…

DCO Highlights DCO at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting

The 2017 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (11-15 December 2017) embraced the unfamiliar,…

DCO Highlights Deep Carbon Gordon Research Conference

In 2018, the Gordon Research Conferences will hold their first conference focused entirely on the…

DCO Highlights Deep Carbon Observatory at AGU Fall Meeting 2017

We expect another large contingent of DCO researchers to descend upon the AGU Fall Meeting on 11–15…

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