Field Studies

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Field Studies


In their 10-year quest to clarify the role of deep carbon in Earth’s past, present, and future, Deep Carbon Observatory scientists journey to some of the most remote yet scientifically valuable places on the planet.

From establishing global volcano monitoring systems to collecting sediment, rocks, and gases from Earth’s vast seafloor, DCO scientists exploit innovative techniques and technologies to find surface clues about carbon lying deep inside Earth.
The map provides a visual way to explore the suite of field studies undertaken by the DCO Communities. The red dots on the map represent field study sites, which are plotted using data drawn from the DCO Data Portal. Click on a dot for detailed information about a field study.
Journalists interested in accompanying DCO scientists into the field should contact katie_pratt[at]uri [dot] edu(Katie Pratt ) for more information.

Featured Field Studies

Biology Meets Subduction

Oman Drilling Project

The Oman desert is the setting for a multi-national collaboration exploring ancient seafloors, now above ground. Scientists are conducting a two-year drilling project at the Samail ophiolite, the world’s largest and best-exposed sub-aerial block of oceanic crust and upper mantle. This exposed “deep ocean substrate” is affording rare investigations to discern the presence of carbon in subducted sediments and how microbial ecosystems exist in such extreme environments.

Earth in Five Reactions

Atlantis Massif Expedition

Scientists spent 47 days in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean collecting rocks from the shallow mantle of the ocean crust. It was the first time a new drilling technology was used to collect rock samples deep below the seafloor. The rock drills were equipped with new technologies that enabled the scientists to detect signs of life in the rock samples.

Carbon Mineral Evolution

T-Limit Expedition

Twenty-five researchers were aboard the drilling vessel Chikyu, the world’s largest scientific research vessel, for a 60-day quest to determine the limits of life below the ocean’s floor. Working with six additional shore-based scientists, the team is attempting to define the temperature limits to deep life in marine sediments and to clarify key factors, including pressure, limiting Earth’s underground habitable zone.

MELTS and DEW

Biology Meets Subduction

"Biology Meets Subduction" was a 12-day field-sampling program in Costa Rica's volcanic arc, followed by integrated sample analysis and modeling. DCO Early Career Scientists comprise the research team that is investigating novel connections between microbiology, volcanic systems, and the cycling of living and dead carbon as Earth’s plates move and subduct past each other.

Modeling and Visualization

Trail by Fire

The “Trail by Fire” team spent five months in the South American Andes conducting an exhaustive survey of active volcanoes in the Nazca plate subduction zone from Peru to Southern Chile. They took gas measurements at 15 active volcanoes, whose remote locations, high elevations and lack of established trails made for a challenging expedition, but one that filled a huge gap in the global database of volcanic gas emissions.

Field Studies Map

Each dot represents a location of a DCO field study. Click the dots for a window with more information about the respective project. Click the links in the windows to visit the DCO Data Portal.


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Videos from the Field

Deep Carbon Observatory Field Studies
Deep Carbon Observatory Field Studies
Biology Meets Subduction: The Interviews
Biology Meets Subduction: The Interviews
DCO Scientists Closer to Forecasting Volcanic Eruptions
DCO Scientists Closer to Forecasting Volcanic Eruptions
Biology Meets Subduction in the Forearc: Drone view
Biology Meets Subduction in the Forearc: Drone view
Costa Rica Field Lectures Part 1
Costa Rica Field Lectures Part 1
Costa Rica Field Lectures Part 2
Costa Rica Field Lectures Part 2
Investigating the Volcanoes of the Western Aleutians
Investigating the Volcanoes of the Western Aleutians
Phreatic eruptions at Poás volcano, Costa Rica
Phreatic eruptions at Poás volcano, Costa Rica
Second DCO Early Career Scientist Workshop, São Miguel
Second DCO Early Career Scientist Workshop, São Miguel
Looking to understand the deep past in Dziani Lake Part 2
Looking to understand the deep past in Dziani Lake Part 2
Looking to Understand the Deep Past in Dziani Dzaha Lake
Looking to Understand the Deep Past in Dziani Dzaha Lake
Disko Island Expedition: Snow Algae
Disko Island Expedition: Snow Algae
DCO Early Career Scientist Workshop, Costa Rica, February 2014
DCO Early Career Scientist Workshop, Costa Rica, February 2014

Projects

Visit the DCO Data Portal for more information about DCO field studies.


Photo of the Bracco-Levanto ophiolite complex in Northern Italy, courtesy of Gretchen Früh-Green.

Header photo courtesy of Trail by Fire.