Deep Carbon Observatory



Robert Hazen launched the Deep Carbon Observatory (DCO) in 2009 with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and serves as the program's Executive Director. DCO is a ten-year international research program that aims to promote a transformational understanding of the chemical and biological roles of carbon in Earth's interior. Since 2009, DCO has grown into a community of more than 1000 scientists in over 35 countries. DCO is organized into four science communities: Reservoirs and Fluxes, Deep Life, Deep Energy, and Extreme Physics and Chemistry. DCO also includes cross-community initiatives in data science, modeling and visualization, field studies, and instrumentation. 


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 those reservoirs, and to assessing the total carbon budget of Earth.

The Deep Life Community explores the evolutionary and functional diversity of Earth’s deep biosphere and its interaction with the carbon cycle.

The Deep Energy Community is focused on quantifying the environmental conditions and processes from the molecular to the global scale that control the origins, forms, quantities and movements of reduced carbon compounds derived from deep carbon through deep geologic time.

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


DCO Website
Bibliography of Contributions to the DCO
DCO Leadership