The grant provides two years of support to Deep Energy (DE) community of the Deep Carbon Observatory. Representing 176 researchers in 32 nations, the group is about half from the United States and half from the rest of the world, the Deep Energy Community is the branch of the DCO that examines the abundance, distribution, and origins of deep Earth abiotic hydrocarbons and the reactions between energy and rock that produce energy. Grant funds will provide research support to the community as it completes a set of eight initiatives on reduced carbon formation, the fate of reduced carbon, confined hydrogen behavior, isotopic bond ordering of methane, ocean floor serpentinization, Precambrian cratons, analysis of sediment cores taken from a drilling site in Oman, and monitoring of subsurface microbial activity rates. The last project, joint with the Deep Carbon Observatory’s Deep Life community, aims to determine how rapidly changes in subsurface metabolic activity occur in response to seismic events. (In plain words, earthquakes might cause deep microbial blooms.)
Along with completing these studies, the DE community would carry out a range of activities to synthesize and integrate the component activities, including through the DCO’s collective effort to create a system of models of deep Earth carbon.