Deep Carbon Observatory

In 2008, with Robert Hazen and Russell Hemley of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Jesse helped initiate the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The DCO recently passed a major milestone with the publication of its 700-page baseline report, Carbon in Earth. A press release summarizes some of the major discoveries.

The DCO is a 10-year global quest to discover the quantity, movements, origins, and forms of Earth’s deep carbon; to probe the secrets of volcanoes and diamonds, sources of gas and oil, and life’s deep limits and origins; and to report the known, unknown, and unknowable by 2019.

Conducting field studies, laboratory experiments, and simulations, the DCO aims to advance significantly, and perhaps change fundamentally, our understanding of carbon and the role it plays in our lives.  The DCO aims to create legacies of instruments measuring at great depths, temperatures, and pressures; networks sensing fluxes of carbon-containing gases and fluids between the depths and the surface; open access databases about deep carbon; deep carbon researchers integrating geology, physics, chemistry, and biology; insights improving energy systems; and a public more engaged with deep carbon science.