Deep Carbon Observatory

PLEASE NOTE: New grant proposals are no longer being accepted in this program.
Photo courtesy of Alessandro Auippa

Italian volcano, Mt. Etna, erupts. Characterizing the role volcanos play in the global carbon cycle is one of the primary research objectives of the Deep Carbon Observatory.

Program Goal

To transform radically our understanding of the quantities, movements, distribution, and properties of deep Earth carbon and its roles in the origin and limits of life, the creation of hydrocarbons, and the global carbon cycle.


Over 10 years, create an international, multidisciplinary community of geologists, mineralogists, geophysicists, chemists, biochemists, microbiologists, and technologists that will:

  • Benchmark the current state of our understanding of deep carbon
  • Develop an ambitious, intellectually rigorous research agenda
  • Cooperatively raise funding and execute that research agenda;
  • Synthesize and disseminate findings to the larger scientific community and the public
  • Strengthen the geophysical research community through the training of the next generation of young geoscientists and through the development of new instruments, models, and analytical methods.

Sloan grants to the DCO focus on providing funds for organization, institutional infrastructure, data management, and instrument development.​

Three additional “teams” provide services to the four DCO research communities:

Sloan's investment in the Deep Carbon Observatory is overseen by grantee and Senior Science Advisor

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