October 2016 Newsletter

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From the Deep, a monthly newsletter from DCO
October 2016

Deep Carbon Observatory
Eruptions, Earthquakes, and Emissions App

A new web app, developed by DCO's Elizabeth Cottrell and colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution's Global Volcanism Program, shows intimate ties between volcanoes and earthquakes and gives open access to 50+ years of data on quakes, eruptions, and related emissions.
Read more about the app and DCO's work on volcanoes around the world.

Letter from the Director

In October 2016, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation approved three proposals that provide continued support to the Deep Carbon Observatory. Peter Barry (University of Oxford, UK) and a group of early career scientists were awarded a grant, “Biology Meets Subduction: A Collaborative and Multi-disciplinary Deep Carbon Field Initiative.” Robert Downs (University of Arizona, USA) and Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution for Science, USA) received a grant, “Carbon Mineral Evolution: Deep carbon, deep time, and the co-evolution of the geo- and biospheres.” Peter Fox (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA) received a grant to support the final phase of DCO Data Science.

Victoria Orphan (Caltech, USA) was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. Many of you will remember her talk, “Endolithic life in methane-derived carbonates,” at the Second DCO International Science Meeting in Munich. Philip Freedman, chair and co-founder of Nu Instruments Ltd (Wrexham, UK), has been awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honors. Freedman collaborated with DCO colleagues to design and build the Panorama mass spectrometer, which was featured on the April 2016 cover of the International Journal of Mass Spectrometry.

Special greetings to DCO colleagues aboard Drilling Vessel Chikyu, who wrote in a blog dated 20 October 2016, "IODP Expedition 370 introduces a new feature to the history of scientific ocean drilling: a simultaneous interplay between the scientific expedition onboard D/V Chikyu and shore-based microbiological work at the Kochi Core Center using super-clean facilities."

Craig Schiffries, DCO Director
Carnegie Institution for Science, Geophysical Laboratory
Washington DC, USA

News Features

New Study of Carbon and Water at the Bottom of Earth’s Upper Mantle Challenges Previous Models
The deep carbon cycle brings carbon from Earth’s interior to surface reservoirs and back again over millions to billions of years. Within DCO’s Extreme Physics and Chemistry (EPC) Community, the question of how carbon reacts with aqueous fluids in the mantle looms large, with implications for understanding how carbon is stored in deep Earth and for how long, as well as how carbon is released into the atmosphere at subduction zones and during volcanic eruptions. In a paper published recently in Science Advances, DCO’s Ding Pan and Giulia Galli (University of Chicago, USA), conducted new calculations that challenge a key assumption prevalent in the field. Models of fluids in Earth’s mantle have long assumed carbon bonds with oxygen in aqueous solution to form molecular CO2. Pan and Galli show, through a series of first-principles molecular dynamics simulations, that carbon in aqueous solutions at 11GPa and 1000K is predominantly stored as carbonate and bicarbonate ions. Read more...

Active Sulfur Recycling in Billion-year-old Water from Canadian Shield Rocks
Life at Earth’s surface relies on the sun to provide energy. Plants and other photosynthetic organisms harvest the energy in sunlight to produce sugar as a first step in powering our planet’s complex ecosystems. Underground, the sun’s energy is preserved as coal, oil, and natural gas, and many organisms rely on such fossilized energy to survive. However, some places on Earth have not felt the sun’s influence for millions, or even billions, of years. Any life surviving in these deep ecosystems, therefore, requires alternative sources of energy. In water samples collected from deep below Scandinavia and South Africa, researchers found that microbes in these ecosystems survive in fracture waters isolated for millions of years by coupling molecular hydrogen oxidation to sulfate reduction. The hydrogen is produced by geochemical reactions such as serpentinization and radiolysis, but the source and sustainability of sulfate are still unknown. In a new paper published recently in Nature Communications, DCO’s Long Li (University of Alberta, Canada), Barbara Sherwood Lollar (University of Toronto, Canada), and colleagues examined samples of billion-year-old fracture fluids deep in the Canadian Shield to trace the source and production mechanism for the dissolved sulfate. Read more...

New Extremely Hard Carbon Nitride Compound Created
A team led by DCO scientist Alexander Goncharov (Carnegie Institution for Science, USA) has created a new extremely incompressible carbon nitride compound. They say it could represent a prototype for a whole new family of superhard materials, due to the unexpected ratio of carbon to nitrogen atoms. Their work is published in the journal Chemistry of Materials. Materials scientists find compounds made from carbon and nitrogen particularly exciting because they can be superhard and very heat-resistant. Indeed, predictions suggest some carbon/nitrogen compounds could be harder than diamond. Such synthetic carbon nitrides could have a number of practical applications in materials machining and protective coatings; however, making them has proved elusive. Read more...

DCO PRESS RELEASE Exhaling Earth: Scientists Closer to Forecasting Volcanic Eruptions
On average, 40 volcanoes on land erupt into the atmosphere each month, while scores of others on the seafloor erupt into the ocean. Elizabeth Cottrell led the development of a new time-lapse animation uniting volcanoes, earthquakes, and gaseous emissions, which reveals unforgettably the large, rigid plates that make the outermost shell of Earth and suggests the immense heat and energy beneath them seeking to escape. Recent discoveries by Deep Carbon Observatory scientists in the Deep Earth Carbon Degassing (DECADE) initiative are laying the foundation for improved volcanic eruption forecasts. These hard-won advances required expensive, dangerous expeditions to sniff gas emissions for clues. Read more...

High-Frequency Gas Monitoring Reveals Carbon Dioxide Precursor to Eruptions at Turrialba Volcano
Turrialba volcano has deposited ash on the capital city of Costa Rica and its 3 million inhabitants numerous times since 2014. In a new article in the Journal of Geophysical Research and an online Earthchem database, a DCO-DECADE team led by Maarten de Moor (National University, Costa Rica) and Alessandro Aiuppa (Palermo University, Italy) tracked changes in gas composition and flux from 2014 to present. The near-continuous and high-frequency gas monitoring time series (Multi-GAS and scanning DOAS stations) reveal a volcano in a state of extreme turmoil, posing an increasing threat to local lives and livelihoods. Read more...

DCO T-Limit Blog: Updates from Scientists Onboard IODP Expedition 370
27 October: The Joys of Curation
By Justine Sauvage
We’re about two thirds of the way to our targeted drill depth and the number of samples collected on this expedition is already exceeding 10,000. IODP Expedition 370 is clearly HOT and scientists want samples, many samples!
20 October: The western North Pacific MBIO – Donut trade route
By Justine Sauvage
IODP Expedition 370 introduces a new feature to the history of scientific ocean drilling: a simultaneous interplay between the scientific expedition onboard D/V Chikyu and shore-based microbiological work at the Kochi Core Center (KCC) using super-clean facilities.
12 October: Looking for life in deep, dark places
By Donald Pan
One of the main goals of Expedition 370 is to find the temperature limit of subseafloor life. There are many similarities between this mission and the search for life on other planets. But instead of looking up, we are looking deep down.
5 October: The deep subseafloor (not the sky!) is the limit!
By Justine Sauvage
Week three of our expedition has concluded. Our status: we have cored through several hundred meters of sediment and are now approaching the Empire of the Hyperthermofiles (i.e. organisms that thrive in extremely hot environments). It’s getting hot down there, which means we are getting closer to our T-limit of life quest.
27 September: It’s all about core
By Stephen Bowden
IODP expeditions are about core. There are other things IODP does for sure; working with cuttings, installing long-term observatories, and making downhole measurements and loggings while drilling. But no core, no dice. No core, no smiles. IODPers like rocks and variably consolidated sediments. But mostly rocks. IODPers want core.
23 September: Avoiding contamination on T-Limit: The super clean room
By Donald Pan
Last week, the shipboard microbiology team began setting up our core-processing lab. Microbiologists are always concerned about contamination problems, and it is especially true in Expedition 370's search for the limits of life in the deep hot subsurface. When you're hunting for cells that may be as scarce as 6 cells per gram of subsurface material, every potential source of contamination must be minimized.
22 September: The deep biosphere and underground hydrocarbon deposits
By Stephen Bowden
To update you, we are on site and the casing has made its long way down into the drilling site. In this picture, you can see a long casing section making its way 4700 meters down, before being sent another 180 meters beneath the surface. We are anxiously awaiting the first core samples arrival.
Read more on the blog...

2016 AGU Fall Meeting: Sessions, Talks, and Posters of Interest to DCO
A large contingent of DCO researchers will participate in the AGU Fall Meeting on 12-16 December 2016 in San Francisco, USA. This day-by-day listing will help you find sessions, talks, and posters of interest to DCO scientists, as well as those featuring members of the DCO Science Network. To add items to these listings, please contact the engagement [at] deepcarbon [dot] net (subject: DCO%20at%20AGU%202016%20Listings) (DCO Engagement Team)

Oman Drilling Project Update: Schedule and Opportunities
After receiving the necessary permits in September, the Oman Drilling Project – an international, collaborative effort to sample the Samail Ophiolite – will officially begin operations on 1 December 2016. Located in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, the Samail Ophiolite is the world’s largest and best-exposed subaerial block of oceanic crust and upper mantle. A new PhD project under Michelle Harris at Plymouth University, UK includes the opportunity to work on samples from the Oman Drilling Project. Read more...

Video: Methane on Mars, a SETI Talk by Giuseppe Etiope
In this video, Giuseppe Etiope (DCO Deep Energy Community) addresses the fundamentals of seepage, its potential occurrence on Mars (via microseepage, mud volcanoes, faults, and degassing from serpentinized rocks), and possible detection techniques.

Meeting Report: Geological Society of America Annual Meeting 2016
Successful collaboration between DCO’s Data Science Team and mineral evolution group inspired a series of presentations at the Geological Society of America Annual Meeting in Denver on 25-28 September 2016. A highlight was DCO Executive Director Robert Hazen (Carnegie Institution of Science, USA) delivering the 2016 Mineralogical Society of America Roebling Medal lecture on “The co-evolution of Earth and life: insights from ‘big data’ mineralogy.” Anat Shahar (Carnegie Institution of Science, USA) received the 2016 Mineralogical Society of America Award and delivered an award lecture, “An isotopic perspective on high-temperature and high-pressure crystal chemistry.” DCO Executive Committee member Donald Dingwell (University of Munch, Germany) received the 2016 GSA Arthur Day Medal and delivered an award lecture, “Experimental volcanology: accessing the inaccessible.”  Read more...

Workshop on the Origin and Evolution of Plate Tectonics, Monte Verità, Switzerland
Earth’s deep carbon cycle is linked to plate tectonic activity, which—within our Solar System—is unique to Earth for reasons yet unknown. Although the Deep Carbon Observatory continues to explore this dynamic and intricate relationship, the origin and evolution of plate tectonics clearly had a profound impact on the deep carbon cycle throughout the planet’s history. We cannot understand Earth’s deep carbon cycle without understanding Earth’s tectonic history, especially the origins of deep subduction (modern plate tectonics). Read more...

Deep Carbon Science in Wikipedia
Wikipedia, the free crowd-sourced online encyclopedia, is one of the top ten websites in the world. It contains five million articles covering a vast range of topics, dozens of which relate to topics of interest to DCO, from bioreactor to kimberlite to x-ray diffraction. For DCO, Wikipedia offers an opportunity to present deep carbon science to a broader audience. Presenting the advances in deep carbon science to an audience numbering in the millions will be an important part of DCO's legacy. For all of these reasons, the Engagement Team is spearheading the effort to include DCO science in relevant Wikipedia entries. To this end, we are soliciting recommendations for article topics. In some cases, DCO researchers will be able to improve or expand upon existing articles by providing expert review. In other cases, DCO researchers may want to provide entirely new content. The Engagement Team will facilitate this process by updating the articles with DCO scientists' edits. While we encourage everyone in the DCO Science Network to review and edit Wikipedia content directly, we are available to assist, answer questions, or make the edits on your behalf. Read more...

Upcoming Events

T-Limit of the Deep Biosphere off Muroto, DV Chikyu, Nankai Trough, Japan, 10 September - 10 November 2016
Deep Life scientists Verena Heuer and Fumio Inagaki are onboard D/V Chikyu through 10 November 2016 to determine when temperatures become too hot for microbial life to survive below the seafloor and consequently helping to define the depth of Earth's habitable zone. Throughout the expedition, cores will be sent via helicopter to the Kochi Core Center, where a team led by Yuki Morono will analyze the samples. 

IAVCEI Cities on Volcanoes, Puerto Varas, Chile, 20-25 November 2016
The Cities and Volcanoes Commission of IAVCEI aims to provide a link between the volcanology community and emergency managers, to serve as a conduit for exchange of ideas and experience among people living and working in ‘cities on volcanoes’, and to promote multi-disciplinary applied research, involving the collaboration of physical and social scientists and city officials.

AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, USA, 12-16 December 2016
View DCO sessions, talks, and posters of interest here.

Workshop: Demystifying the IODP Proposal Process for Early Career Scientists, Austin, USA, 23-25 January 2017
This workshop will focus on developing the next generation of IODP scientists, both by educating participants about upper-level IODP functions and building collaborative relationships. Application deadline: 11 November 2016 

Third DCO International Science Meeting, St. Andrews, Scotland, 23-25 March 2017
The Deep Carbon Observatory will hold the Third International Science Meeting at the University of St. Andrews. This meeting will showcase recent results from scientists working in all fields of deep carbon research.

Deep Continental Drilling into the Moho in the Ivaea-Verbano Zone ICDP Workshop, Baveno, Italy, 2-5 May 2017
This workshop is aimed at developing a strategic plan for drilling into the continental crust-mantle transition in the Ivaea-Verbano Zone.
Application deadline: 2 January 2017

JpGU-AGU Joint Meeting, Makuhari Messe, Japan, 20-25 May 2017
In May 2017, JpGU and AGU will hold the first joint meeting of the two societies covering all areas of the Earth and space sciences. More than 50 sessions will be presented in English for inter- and trans-disciplinary scientists. 

Goldschmidt 2017, Paris, France, 13-18 August 2017
Goldschmidt is the foremost annual, international conference on geochemistry and related subjects. Session proposal submission deadline: 1 November 2016

International Society for Subsurface Microbiology Conference, Rotorua, New Zealand, 6-10 November 2017
Abstract submissions open 15 December 2016

Funding Opportunities

Third Call for Proposals: Deep Energy Community
The Deep Energy Community (DEC) of the Deep Carbon Observatory invites proposals for short-term funding of projects and/or activities aimed at addressing the DEC’s decadal goals and/or strengthening the international DEC community and its abilities to generate funding for new and ongoing initiatives. The DEC is dedicated to quantifying the environmental conditions and processes from the molecular to the global scale that control the quantities, movements, forms, and origins of reduced carbon compounds derived from deep carbon through deep geologic time. Deadline: 20 November 2016

C-DEBI Proposal Calls for Deep Biosphere Research and Fellowship Grants
The NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) invites proposals for 1-year research projects (in the anticipated range of $50,000-$80,000) and 1-2 year graduate student and postdoctoral fellowships that will significantly advance C-DEBI's central research agenda: to investigate the subseafloor biosphere deep in marine sediment and oceanic crust, and to conduct multi-disciplinary studies to develop an integrated understanding of subseafloor microbial life at the molecular, cellular, and ecosystem scales. C-DEBI welcomes proposals from applicants who would enhance diversity in C-DEBI and STEM fields. This request for proposals is open to all interested researchers at US institutions able to receive NSF funding as a sub award. Deadline: 1 December 2016

C-DEBI Proposal Calls for Deep Biosphere Education Grants
C-DEBI also invites proposals to support education and outreach projects, with a budget of up to $50,000 and a project duration of 1 year. The C-DEBI Education & Outreach Grants Program will fund the development of educational opportunities and materials that are pertinent to deep biosphere research in the subseafloor environment in support of our education and outreach goal to create distinctive, targeted education programs and promote increased public awareness about life below the seafloor. C-DEBI welcomes proposals from applicants who would enhance diversity in C-DEBI and STEM fields. This request for proposals is open to all interested researchers at US institutions able to receive NSF funding as a sub award. Deadline: 1 December 2016

Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship
The U.S. Science Support Program is currently accepting applications for the 2017-2018 Schlanger Ocean Drilling Fellowship Program. The submission deadline is December 2, 2016. The Schlanger Fellowship Program offers merit-based awards for outstanding graduate students to conduct research related to the International Ocean Discovery Program. Research may be related to the objectives of past expeditions or it may address broader science themes. Fellowships are open to all graduate students enrolled at U.S. institutions in full-time MS or PhD programs. Deadline: 2 December 2016

New Publications

View more papers in the DCO publications browser.

Synthesis of Ultra-incompressible sp3 -Hybridized Carbon Nitride with 1:1 Stoichiometry
Elissaios Stavrou, Sergey Lobanov, Huafeng Dong, Artem R. Oganov, Vitali B. Prakapenka, Zuzana Konôpková, and Alexander F. Goncharov
Chemistry of Materials doi:10.1021/acs.chemmater.6b02593

Turmoil at Turrialba Volcano (Costa Rica): Degassing and eruptive processes inferred from high-frequency gas monitoring
Maarten de Moor, Alessandro Aiuppa, Geoffroy Avard, Heidi Wehrmann, Nelia Dunbar, Cyrill Muller, Giancarlo Tamburello, Gaetano Giudice, Marco Liuzzo, Roberto Moretti, Vladimir Conde, and Bo Galle
Journal of Geophysical Research - Solid Earth doi:10.1002/2016JB013150

The fate of carbon dioxide in water-rich fluids under extreme conditions
Ding Pan and Giulia Galli
Science Advances doi:10.1126/sciadv.1601278

Sulfur mass-independent fractionation in subsurface fracture waters indicates a long-standing sulfur cycle in Precambrian rocks
Long Li, Boswell A. Wing, Thi Hao Bui, Jill M. McDermott, Greg F. Slater, S. Wei, Georges Lacrampe-Couloume, and Barbara Sherwood Lollar
Nature Communications doi:10.1038/ncomms13252

Employment Opportunities

Organic Geochemistry PhD Opportunity, "Life & Death in the Deep Biosphere," University of Plymouth, UK
Under some oil production conditions, unusual natural organic compounds in petroleum form hard deposits which block oil pipelines, leading to costly downtime. Somewhat analogous compounds have been reported from thermophilic environments, such as hot springs and hydrothermal vents and in some thermophilic Archaea. Such compounds have not been detected in geological media such as sediments, but their presence in oils from widely-separated geographic regions hints at a common sedimentary (probably microbial) source. If this is the case, the compounds may be ‘chemical fossils’ of a deep biosphere. This PhD studentship will investigate this theory by analysis of our unique collections of crude oils, sediments and microbes. The student will receive excellent training in crude oil and sediment analysis, including state-of-the-science methods available in our laboratories. Application deadline: 4 November 2016

Wiess Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship, Rice University, USA
The Department of Earth Science at Rice University is inviting applications for the Wiess Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in the broad fields of Earth, atmospheric, and planetary sciences. Applicants must have a PhD awarded within three years of the time of appointment. Applicants are requested to develop a proposal of research to be undertaken during the fellowship period. The principal selection criteria are scientific excellence and a clearly expressed research plan to address questions at the forefront of Earth science, broadly defined. Applicants are encouraged to explore possible research synergies with faculty in the Department of Earth Science, but the proposed research should encompass independent research ideas and explore new directions beyond the applicant’s PhD. Application deadline: 15 November 2016 

3-year Post-Doctoral Position in Noble Gas Geochemistry, University of Manchester, UK
Applications are invited for a post-doctoral research associate (PDRA) in noble gas geochemistry, to work within the Isotope Geochemistry research group in the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, University of Manchester. The PDRA will work on the project “How did primordial and recycled geochemical signatures come to coexist in the Earth's deep mantle?” funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council. They will be supervised by Dr Margaret Hartley, Dr Greg Holland and Professor Ray Burgess, with support from project partners Dr Oliver Shorttle (University of Cambridge), Dr Sæmundur Ari Halldórsson (University of Iceland) and Dr Antonio Álvarez-Valero (University of Salamanca). The project focuses on the isotopic and volatile compositions of subglacially erupted basalts from Iceland, with a view to establishing the characteristic geochemical signatures and spatial distribution of primordial and recycled reservoirs in the Icelandic mantle source. Application deadline: 23 November 2016

Professor in Earth Science at the University of St Andrews, Scotland
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences invites applications for a Professorial-level appointment. We are seeking outstanding individuals who address fundamental questions about Earth System behavior and evolution, and can contribute to excellence in field-based teaching. We welcome individuals whose research spans one or more of tectonics, structural and metamorphic geology, volcanology, Earth system modeling, Earth resources, palaeontology, sedimentary geology, and stratigraphy. The successful candidates will complement our vibrant research groups in Global Change, Solid Earth and Planetary Science, Geobiology, Economic Geology and Energy, and Earth Surface Processes, and will be expected to develop externally funded, innovative and impactful research programs. Application deadline: 25 November 2016

Lecturer in Earth Sciences at the University of St Andrews, Scotland
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences invites applications for a Lectureship-level appointment from outstanding individuals who utilize field-based research to address fundamental questions about Earth System behavior and evolution. We welcome individuals whose research spans one or more of tectonics, structural and metamorphic geology, volcanology, Earth system modeling, Earth resources, palaeontology, sedimentary geology, and stratigraphy. The successful candidate will complement our vibrant research groups in Global Change, Solid Earth and Planetary Science, Geobiology, Economic Geology and Energy, and Earth Surface Processes, and will be expected to develop externally funded, innovative and impactful research programs. Application deadline: 25 November 2016

Carnegie Fellowships at the Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution for Science, Washington DC, USA
The Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, invites applications for postdoctoral fellowships. The Geophysical Laboratory emphasizes interdisciplinary experimental and theoretical research in fields spanning geoscience, microbiology, chemistry, and physics. The Laboratory supports world-class facilities in high-pressure research; organic, stable isotope and biogeochemistry; mineral physics and petrology; and astrobiology. Application deadline: 30 November 2016

Curator in Earth and Planetary Science, American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA
The Division of Physical Sciences of American Museum of Natural History seeks to hire a tenure-track assistant curator in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. We seek candidates who will bring petrological and geochemical methods to bear on problems related to planetary evolution. For example, candidates might integrate field, analytical, and theoretical studies of the rock record to provide insights into fundamental aspects of climate, environmental, and biogeochemical variability through time. The successful candidate will have demonstrated scientific creativity and the potential to build and sustain an innovative research program. Application deadline: 16 December 2016

Lecturer in Earth Sciences at Durham University, UK
The Department of Earth Sciences at Durham University wishes to recruit an outstanding Lecturer in Earth Sciences. The Department has broad interests across the range of geosciences and seeks applications from exceptional candidates working in any areas of geoscience research that complement and build on its current expertise and interests. The position offers an exciting opportunity to conduct research and teaching of the highest, international quality. Academics are expected to raise funding to undertake research, to recruit and supervise postgraduate students and postdoctoral research staff, and to explore the full potential for impact of their research. Application deadline: 29 January 2017

Assistant Professor of Geology in Petrology/Mineralogy, University of Georgia, USA
The Department of Geology at the University of Georgia seeks to fill a position for a tenure-track assistant professor in the field of petrology/mineralogy, welcoming applications from scientists in both the Earth and planetary sciences to complement the department’s growing focus in planetary sciences. We encourage applications from petrologists/mineralogists with strong backgrounds in chemistry and physics who may employ unconventional and interdisciplinary approaches to address big-picture questions including but not limited to petrologic and/or mineralogical aspects of planetary evolution involving core, mantle, and/or crustal processes. Open until filled.

PhD Positions in Geomicrobiology at the University of Pennsylvania, USA
The Department of Earth and Environmental Science and the Center for Energy Research at the University of Pennsylvania seek graduate students interested in any of the following research areas: geomicrobiology, ecology, microbe-microbe and microbe-mineral interactions, biogeochemistry, ecophysiology and bioenergetics. The successful applicants will be awarded a PhD Fellowship package that includes: tuition, fees, health care and stipend for living expenses. These packages are available starting Fall 2017.

DCO in the News

Read more DCO News here

27 October 2016 U of A researcher looking at billion-year-old rocks to answer questions about life on Mars
By Stuart Thomson for The Edmonton Journal
Billion-year-old rocks on Earth may hold the key to finding life on Mars, thanks to new findings by a University of Alberta researcher...

20 October 2016: 500 'Champagne' Methane Seeps Discovered Off Pacific Coast
By Stephanie Pappas for Live Science
About 500 new streams of shimmering methane bubbles have been discovered off the Pacific Northwest coast...

19 October 2016: There's an Enormous Natural Gas Seep Along the West Coast
By Maddie Stone for Gizmodo
From British Columbia to Northern California, planet Earth’s got a case of the toots. A recent deep ocean mapping survey has learned that a geologically-active strip of seafloor called the Cascadia Subduction Zone is bubbling methane like mad. It could be one of the most active methane seeps on the planet...

13 October 2016: Predicting Chaos: New Sensors Sniff Out Volcanic Eruptions Before They Happen
By Laura Poppick for Smithsonian.com
Volcanoes have blindsided humans for millennia, leaving entire cities at the whim of their devastating eruptions. But compared to other forms of natural disaster, volcanoes actually offer a variety of quiet clues leading up to their destruction...

11 October 2016: This Neat Animation Shows What 50 Years Of Volcanic Eruptions and Earthquakes Looks Like
By Robin Andrews for IFLScience
Volcanoes erupt all the time. Many of you already know this, but we’re willing to bet that very few can truly grasp the ridiculously high frequency with which they occur...

10 October 2016: What 50 Years of Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions Look Like
By Nicholas St. Fleur for The New York Times
Earth has a violent heartbeat. We feel it whenever the ground quakes and volcanoes erupt. These devastating events, which kill thousands of people and affect millions more every year, may seem like random acts of nature. But when you watch them over a long time scale, a pattern emerges...

10 October 2016: Watch Earth pulse with earthquakes and eruptions in this stunning visualization
By Sarah Kaplan for The Washington Post
“Pretend that you're an alien in a spacecraft above Earth. You are looking down and watching the pulse of planet Earth. The breath, the respiration..."

6 October 2016: Volcano insight: Fifty years of eruptions revealed
By Victoria Gill for BBC News
Half a century of the planet's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes have been visualised in an animated app...

4 October 2016: Rock hounds are on the hunt for new carbon minerals
By Sid Perkins for Science News
A new challenge has scientists searching for dozens of unknown, beguiling crystals...

4 October 2016: How Earthquakes and Volcanoes Reveal the Beating Heart of the Planet
By Rachel E. Gross for Smithsonian.com
Your face looks fine. Trust me. But if you zoom in and take a time-lapse, you'll see a landscape in motion: zits erupting, pore-craters forming, ridges of skin stretching apart and squashing together as you smile and frown...


ERRATUM: Some readers of the DCO Newsletter may have noticed a glitch in the September 2016 issue. If your email settings prevent image display, your newsletter contained a piece of linked text that took you to the incorrect article. We have now fixed this problem and apologize for any confusion. We always welcome feedback on the DCO Newsletter. Please email katie_pratt [at] uri [dot] edu (subject: DCO%20Newsletter%20Feedback) (Katie Pratt) of the DCO Engagement Team if you have any comments or suggestions.


Learn more about DCO's Scientific Communities


Deep Life

The Deep Life Community is dedicated to assessing the nature and extent of the deep microbial and viral biosphere by exploring the evolutionary and functional diversity of Earth’s deep biosphere and its interaction with the carbon cycle.

Deep Energy

The Deep Energy Community is dedicated to developing a fundamental understanding of environments and processes that regulate the volume and rates of production of abiogenic hydrocarbons and other organic species in the crust and mantle through geological time.

Extreme Physics and Chemistry

The Extreme Physics and Chemistry Community is dedicated to improving our understanding of the physical and chemical behavior of carbon at extreme conditions, as found in the deep interiors of Earth and other planets.

Reservoirs and Fluxes

The Reservoirs and Fluxes Community is dedicated to identifying the principal deep carbon reservoirs, to determining the mechanisms and rates by which carbon moves among these reservoirs, and to assessing the total carbon budget of Earth.