Deep Carbon Observatory: A Decade of Discovery

Thousands of diamonds that formed hundreds of kilometers deep within the planet paved the way to many of the most historic discoveries about Deep Earth, which were shared and celebrated by more than 250 international scientists October 24 to 26 at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.
Scientists with the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO), a 10-year, $300 million collaboration involving 1,200 experts from 55 nations, produced 1,400 peer-reviewed papers–one of the largest international Earth-science projects ever undertaken.
Knowledge of Deep Earth’s water content is critical to understanding the diversity and melting behaviors of materials at the planet’s different depths, the creation and flows of hydrocarbons (e.g., petroleum and natural gas) and other materials, as well as the planet’s deep subterranean electrical conductivity.
Multidisciplinary teams of researchers explored how carbon moves between Earth’s interior, surface and atmosphere; where carbon came from; how much carbon the planet contains and in what forms (including bacteria and microbes in a subterranean ecosystem twice the size of Earth’s oceans); the limits of life on Earth; and how life began.
DCO’s discoveries have many applications, including interplanetary research, the development of new materials, and potential carbon capture and storage strategies.
Learn more here.

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