The Deep Carbon Observatory was well represented at Goldschmidt 2019, which took place from 18–23 August at the Centre Convencions Internacional in Barcelona, Spain. DCO scientists gave more than 150 presentations – including 22 session keynotes – at this annual meeting of the European Association of Geochemistry and the Geochemical Society, which was attended by thousands of geochemists from around the world. Scientists from all four of DCO’s Science Communities (Extreme Physics and Chemistry, Reservoirs and Fluxes, Deep Energy, and Deep Life) participated, as did scientists from DCO’s crosscutting activities (data science, modeling and visualization, field studies, and instrumentation).
A session honoring the memory of Erik Hauri featured presentations on the budgets and isotopic compositions of volatile elements in Earth and other terrestrial planets. DCO Reservoirs and Fluxes Scientific Steering Committee member Elizabeth Cottrell (Smithsonian Institution, USA) summarized her decade-long collaboration with Hauri on carbon dioxide degassing along mid-ocean ridges. Cottrell ended her talk with the powerful acknowledgement that Erik Hauri “…pursued and achieved [his] goals through relentless excellence.”
Biology Meets Subduction, an early career scientist-led DCO field expedition, was part of several sessions with presentations highlighting the biology, geology, and gas geochemistry data generated from the expedition. The DECADE data portal premiered at the meeting, with Kerstin Lehnert (Columbia University, USA) offering live demonstrations of its many capabilities at DCO’s exhibition booth. Several talks touched on the ever-contentious topic of the origins of methane on Earth, with their subjects encompassing mechanisms for abiotic methane generation and the role of water-rock reactions such as serpentinization. DCO research featured prominently in sessions ranging from “Seafloor Hydrothermal Systems: Geologic Controls and Biogeochemical Fluxes” to “From Magma Chamber to Eruption Cloud: The Role of Volatiles in Volcanic Processes, Monitoring, and Hazard Assessment” to “Deep Volatiles: Processes, Reservoirs, and Fluxes,” among many others.
DCO member Mark Ghiorso (OFM Research, USA) and colleagues convened a workshop on the ENKI portal, which provides a computational ecosystem for geochemical simulations based on thermodynamics and fluid dynamics. ENKI was launched in 2016 with grants from the US National Science Foundation after receiving proposal development support from DCO. The DCO Executive Committee convened a meeting of opportunity to discuss opportunities and challenges for deep carbon science in 2019 and beyond.
Several DCO collaborators received honors at this year’s Goldschmidt meeting. Don DePaolo (University of California, Berkeley) was awarded the V.M. Goldschmidt Award and delivered a medal lecture entitled “2D Reactive Transport Models of Mid-Ocean Ridge Hydrothermal Systems.” Barbara Sherwood Lollar (University of Toronto, Canada), Cyn-Ty Lee (Rice University, USA), and Yuji Sano (University of Tokyo, Japan) became Geochemistry Fellows.
The DCO exhibition booth, staffed by the Engagement Team, served as a lively hub for the deep carbon science community throughout the meeting, particularly during the opening reception and poster sessions. The booth featured Executive Director Robert Hazen’s new book, “Symphony in C,” an advance copy of the community’s compilation of results, “Deep Carbon: Past to Present,” the opportunity to submit deep Earth haikus, and posters and displays highlighting many other DCO activities and products. DCO’s experience at Goldschmidt bodes well for a similarly positive and impactful experience at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco in December 2019.
Photos courtesy of Josh Wood, Katie Pratt, and Peter Barry. Flickr gallery of photos from Goldschmidt 2019.