DCO Activities at the 2012 American Geophysical Union Meeting

DCO activities associated with the 2012 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, California.

Golden gate bridge

DCO Deep Life Mini-Workshop 

Sunday, 2 December 2012
Deep Life Directorate project scientists and Scientific Steering Committee members reported on and discussed initial research conducted through the Census of Deep Life (Rick Colwell, USA) and Deep Life I: Microbial Carbon Transformations in Rock-Hosted Deep Subsurface Habitats (Matt Schrenk, USA). Related topics of discussion included: molecular biology and bioinformatics issues (data storage, annotation, working with low biomass samples, sequencing technologies); pressure microbiology (instrumentation, challenges, motivations); and deep observatories.
Workshop attendees also discussed coordinating 2013 activities (meetings, fieldwork); working with the DCO Data and Engagement teams; developing future Deep Life initiatives; leveraging and funding opportunities; and cooperation among the DCO directorates. A full-scale Deep Life Workshop is being planned for mid-2013.

DCO Reservoirs & Fluxes Directorate Meeting

Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Two evolving research consortiums under the DCO’s Reservoirs & Fluxes (RF) Directorate—Deep Earth Carbon Degassing (DECADE) and Diamonds & the Mantle Geodynamics of Carbon (DMGC)—met together and with members of the RF Scientific Steering Committee to share progress and plan for the future.
Diamonds & the Mantle Geodynamics of Carbon (DMGC)
The DMGC consortium leader Steven Shirey (USA) provided an overview of the global consortium involving 9 co-PIs and a score of partners from 11 nations. Presentations were given on: stable isotopes on diamond growth, C-bearing fluid sources (Pierre Cartigny, France); experimental work on diamond forming/carrying melts  (Shantanu Keshav, France); experimental work on deep phase stability and fO2  (Mike Walter, United Kingdom); radiogenic and trace element evidence on diamond formation (Graham Pearson, Canada); crystallographic and P-T relations of inclusions in diamonds (Fabrizio Nestola, Italy); diamond examination at the nanometer scale (Frank Brenker, Germany); and DMGC database activities (Kerstin Lehnert, USA). 
Deep Earth Carbon Degassing (DECADE)
The DECADE consortium currently consists of 14 researchers from 9 countries, and represents a cross section of international expertise in understanding the transport and geochemistry of deep mantle gases through all aspects of volcanic systems. The DECADE team members come from most of the countries currently operating government-funded geophysical and geochemical volcano monitoring observatories.
These collaborators nucleated at a DCO-supported IAVCEI workshop on volcanic degassing held at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Kamchatka, Russia in September 2011. Since then, they have assembled an impressive roster of international experts on volcano monitoring and degassing, and have put together a consortium whose purpose is to organize, instrument, maintain and operate the first internationally-coordinated network for continuous time-series measurements of carbon fluxes from the world's most active volcanoes.
At the workshop, Patrick Allard (France) outlined DECADE’s two main goals to:
1. Dramatically improve (uncertainty factor < 2) poorly constrained current estimates of global carbon (mainly CO2) emission budget from global subaerial volcanism and active lithospheric regions.
2. Develop an improved network of continuous volcano monitoring. 

DCO Workshop on Non-Volcanic Fluxes of Deep Carbon 

Thursday, 6 December 2012
Quantifying non-volcanic fluxes of carbon is in its infancy. Fluxes at convergent margins with little or no volcanism, like the Himalayas, and other regions—such as rifted margins and extensional basins—may degas substantial amounts of deep carbon. A consensus is growing that these non-volcanic tectonic fluxes of deep carbon are potentially important components of the carbon cycle.
Jay Ague (USA), Bernard Marty (France), and Craig Schiffries (DCO Secretariat) convened the mini-workshop during AGU where participants outlined several lines of research needed to better quantify non-volcanic fluxes of deep carbon:
1.  Metamorphic processes: modeling and experimental studies
2.  Erosion, rivers, orogens: carbon budget (what is produced, what is consumed)
3.  Extensional areas, rifted areas, basins  (in collaboration with the DCO Deep Energy Directorate)
4.  Reduced carbon (in collaboration with the DCO Deep Energy Directorate)
The group proposed a larger, dedicated workshop to develop research priorities and plans in each of the highly complex sub-themes. Participants were optimistic that systematic and coordinated research could lead to significant advances in quantifying non-volcanic fluxes of deep carbon.    

DCO Related Scientific Sessions at AGU

DI23C:  Redox Controls and C-O-H Equilibria in the Earth's Interior II
Convenors:  Vincenzo Stagno (Carnegie Institution of Washington), Carmen Sanchez Valle (ETH Zurich), and Dionysis Foustoukos (Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Description:  The oxygen fugacity in Earth's interior is likely to be buffered by heterogeneous mineral equilibria in peridotite and eclogite assemblages. This will dramatically affect the composition of C-O-H fluids with consequences for chemical and physical properties of the mantle. This session aims to improve our understanding on the role of C-O-H fluids at high temperature and pressure concerning 1) redox and partial melting processes beneath mid ocean ridges, subduction zones and lithospheric mantle; 2) diamond formation and mineral dissolution; 3) phase equilibria in the C-O-H system and fluid/rock interactions and 4) physical and chemical properties of aqueous fluids. We encourage contributions from experimental petrology, rock and fluid geochemistry with particular interest for in situ analytical techniques, mineral physics and theoretical studies.
H32G:  Underground Testing, Monitoring, and Modeling in Different Formations 
Conveners:  Robert Zimmerman (Imperial College) and Joseph Wang (Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory)
Description:  Jeff Tester (Cornell University) will speak on geothermal potentials; Murray Hitzman (Colorado School of Mines) on critical minerals; Barbara Sherwood Lollar (University of Toronto) on microbiology and hydrogeochemistry of URLs and deep mines; Yves Guglielmi (Marselle University) on earthquake nucleation in fault zones; Christophe Nussbaum (Swisstopo) on a research program at Mont Terri Rock Laboratory; and David Vardiman (SURF) on development at Stanford Underground Research Facility.  
V41C:  Daly Lecture: Deep Crustal Metamorphic Carbon Cycling in Collisional Orogens: What do we really know?
 Speaker:  Jay Ague (Yale University)

B41F:  A Census of Deep Life:  Putting a Face on the Subsurface Biosphere I

Convenors:  Matthew Schrenk (East Carolina University), Frederick Colwell (Oregon State University), and Jason Sylvan (USC-Biological Sciences)

Description:  A census of life beneath the Earth's surface is improving our knowledge of the diversity and physiology of organisms in this deep ecosystem. We invite presentations that explain bacterial, archaeal, eukaryal, and viral life in planetary-wide deep Earth settings where life ranges from abundant/active to sparse/surviving. Reports based on genomic, transcriptomic, proteomic, and lipidomic evidence; novel and single-cell cultivation; computational models; and new ways to visualize such life are encouraged. Explanations of the abiotic constraints on the diversity of subsurface life, the presence of keystone species, and recurrent themes related to life underground are welcome.
V42B:  Physics and Chemistry of Deep Carbon
Conveners:  Abby Kavner (UCLA), Giulia Galli (UC Davis), and Craig E Manning (UCLA)

Invited Speakers:  Wendy Mao, Mario Santoro, Artem Oganov, and Rajeep Dasgupta
Description: Understanding the terrestrial deep carbon cycle requires improved knowledge of the physical and chemical behavior of carbon at the extreme conditions found in Earth's interior. Novel studies are providing insights into carbon bearing materials at high pressure and temperature, such as polymerized CO2, Fe-C alloys, carbon in silicate and other magmas, and carbon solubility and transport in subduction-zone fluids. We invite contributions describing theoretical, experimental, and/or computational approaches aimed at describing and understanding the physics and chemistry of carbon in the deep Earth and other terrestrial planets.
V52A: Serpentinization and Dehydration as Major Processes for Deep Earth Elemental Cycling

Convenors:  Ivan Savov (University of Leeds) and Dionysis Foustoukos (Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Description:  Serpentinites form when water interacts with ultramafic domains. Serpentinites can host variety of trace elements and their formation is responsible for vast isotopic fractionations (H, O, B, Li, Cl, Sr, Nd, etc). Serpentinite dehydration by returning to the deep mantle via subduction or during plate collisions, should have important implications for the elemental cycling and for the stable and radiogenic isotope signatures of the deep earth as a whole. We seek contributions addressing these processes, and with emphasis on the in-situ and bulk rock trace element and isotope geochemistry, textural and mineralogical studies and lab experiments.
B54B:  Co-Evolution of the Geosphere and Biosphere

Convenors:  Patricia M. Dove (Virginia Tech) and Robert M. Hazen (Carnegie Institution of Washington)

Description: Research in the Earth sciences reveals striking correlations between geological events and the origin and evolution of life. Many aspects of Earth's major transitions, including changes in the oceans and atmosphere, shifts in tectonics, and biological innovations that include photosynthesis, eukaryotes, multicellularity, and the rise of skeletal biomineralization, appear to be interdependent. Efforts to interpret these interrelations are uncovering striking examples of the co-dependent geosphere and biosphere. This session will explore these co-dependences through 4 billion years of Earth history.
DI54A: Volatiles in Earth's Interior and their Effect on Physical Properties

Convenors:  Mark Kendrick (University of Melbourne), Simon Turner (Macquarie University), Arianna Gleason (Stanford University), and Toru Inoue (Ehime University)

Invited Speakers:  Sujoy Mukhopadhyay (Harvard University), Marc Hirschmann (University of Minnesota), Jie Li (University of Michigan), and Eiji Ohtani (Tohoku University)

Description:  The exchange of volatiles, including CO2, H2O, halogens, S, N and noble gases between different reservoirs is a fundamental Earth system process. The capacity of minerals at high temperature and pressure to incorporate water, carbon, halogens and trace volatiles influences mantle solidus temperature, rheology and deep recycling of surface volatiles into the mantle. We invite novel contributions from petrology, mineral physics (including measurements of elasticity, density, viscosity and electrical conductivity), seismology, trace element/isotope geochemistry and modeling that expand our understanding of volatiles in the mantle and core. 

Further Reading

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