Synthesizing Science

Since 2009, members of the Deep Carbon Observatory Science Network (a community of more than 1200 scientists from 55 countries) have published nearly 1500 papers in scholarly journals. In an effort to bring this enormous body of work together and share a decade of deep carbon science with both scientific and broader audiences, DCO launched a synthesis effort in late 2015. Led by Marie Edmonds (University of Cambridge, UK) and Synthesis Group 2019, DCO’s synthesis effort has produced books and special issues, resources and films, and launched new research projects that will move deep carbon science forward into the next decade. This scientific synthesis effort has succeeded thanks to the dedication of the deep carbon science community and the leadership of numerous volunteers.

This page highlights the synthesis products created under the leadership of SG2019.

Biology Meets Subduction Biology Meets Subduction

Biology Meets Subduction was a field-sampling program to investigate 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 Earth in Five Reactions

Deep Carbon scientists have pondered, debated, and arrived at a consensus regarding the most important carbon-related reactions on Earth, providing a new and integrative way to explain and advance deep carbon science.

Carbon Mineral Evolution Carbon Mineral Evolution

Carbon Mineral Evolution is a revolutionary data mining project bringing novel network analysis to the field of mineralogy.


This ambitious project will result in the first integrated thermodynamic model of the magma-fluid system, making it possible to predict how carbon moves between solid, liquid, and fluid phases in response to temperature and pressure inside Earth.

Whole Earth Carbon Whole Earth Carbon

Whole Earth Carbon is an edited volume that will tell the story of what our international community of deep carbon scientists have learned over the last decade.


DCO is also encouraging cross-disciplinary collaboration in these cross-cutting initiatives:

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Data Science

DCO data science combines informatics, data management, library science, network science, computer science, and domain science to provide researchers with a full complement of data resources.

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DCO supports novel instrumentation projects that approach challenges in deep carbon science from new perspectives, providing researchers with new tools for investigating scientific questions.

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Field Studies

DCO scientists conduct field expeditions to some of the most remote yet scientifically valuable places on the planet.

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DCO Modeling and Visualization

DCO researchers use computational tools to investigate and visualize Earth’s inner workings.

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Journal articles, books, and other publications by DCO scientists are expanding our knowledge of carbon in Earth. 

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