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Inside Earth: DCO Synthesis Projects
Deep Carbon Observatory Synthesis Initiatives
The Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) is entering an exciting new phase. After seven years of research and discovery, its nearly 1,000 scientists in 45 countries are starting to bring their scientific findings together, painting a better picture of the role of deep carbon on planetary function inside Earth. Over the next three years, scientists will continue publishing their findings in the scientific literature, while looking at their results in new, integrative ways.
A concerted effort is underway to integrate what we have learned so that the whole of DCO is greater than the sum of its parts. This synthesis of knowledge is taking place among and across DCO’s Science Communities. Leading up to the culmination of this decadal program in 2019, we are sharing what our scientific community has learned and what remains unknown, and perhaps unknowable, about the quantities, movements, forms, and origins of carbon in Earth.
Synthesis Group 2019 will help guide and inform this synthesis and integration process.
Biology Meets Subduction
"Biology Meets Subduction" involves a 12-day field sampling program in Costa Rica's volcanic arc followed by integrated sample analysis and modeling. A team led by DCO Early Career Scientists are 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.
Earth in Five Reactions
Ever wonder what the most important reaction on Earth might be? This fundamental question motivates the “Earth in Five Reactions” (“5R”) synthesis project. Deep Carbon scientists will ponder, debate, and arrive at a consensus regarding the most important carbon-related reactions on Earth.
Carbon Mineral Evolution
Over the next three years and beyond, investigators at the University of Arizona and Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C are deploying big data and multi-disciplinary expertise to document the diversity and distribution of more than 500 minerals of carbon found in Earth’s crust and upper mantle.
MELTS and DEW
This ambitious project will ultimately result in the first integrated thermodynamic model of the magma-fluid system. The research team is integrating existing thermodynamic models of magmas (MELTS) and fluids (DEW), making it possible to predict how carbon moves between solid, liquid, and fluid phases in response to temperature and pressure.
Modeling and Visualization
The Deep Carbon Observatory is creating new computational tools needed to probe and visualize carbon transport from the interior to the atmosphere of our planet and back again. Through an online open access platform, deep carbon researchers and other interested scientists will have access to the latest modeling tools for visualizing and sharing their scientific results.
Two books that bridge the many aspects of deep carbon science are underway. One uses musical composition as a means to explain the complexities of carbon and why it is so important to life on Earth. The other provides a historical perspective of the evolution of deep carbon science.
Deep Carbon Observatory: Changing what we know about Earth