University of California, Los Angeles

To continue the activities of the Deep Energy community of the Deep Carbon Observatory

  • Amount $1,250,000
  • City Los Angeles, CA
  • Investigator Edward Young
  • Year 2015
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Deep Carbon Observatory

This grant provides two years of continued support to the Deep Energy community of the Deep Carbon Observatory. Researchers working in the Deep Energy community investigate the abiotic methane and hydrogen in the deep recesses of Earth. These compounds, when oxidized, release energy into the rocks around them, feed microbial life, and possibly contribute to humanity’s store of energy resources. Recent discoveries, many of them by DCO researchers, suggest that such deep energy reserves are significantly more plentiful than science has imagined. Over the next two years, Deep Energy researchers will use both field-based investigations in oceanic and continental settings and lab experiments on fluid-rock interactions to shed light on a number of important scientific questions, including how to differentiate between abiotic and biotic hydrocarbons; the role of serpentinization and other hydrogen-generating reactions in the production of deep energy; how deep energy reactions mediate the form, quantities, distribution, and mobility of abiotic carbon and hydrogen; and the relationship between deep energy and deep microbial life. In addition, the Deep Energy team will begin collaborative work with other DCO communities to bring together insights from numerous disciplines in geoscience to create a functional four-dimensional Deep Carbon in Earth Model.

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