Deep Earth carbon reactions through time and space

Catherine McCammon, Hélène Bureau, H. James Cleaves II, Elizabeth Cottrell, Susannah M. Dorfman, Louise H Kellogg, Jie Li, Sami Mikhail, Yves Moussallam, Chrystele Sanloup, Andrew R Thomson, Alberto Vitale Brovarone

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Reactions involving carbon in the deep Earth have limited manifestation on Earth’s surface, yet they have played a critical role in the evolution of our planet. The metal-silicate partitioning reaction promoted carbon capture during Earth’s accretion and may have sequestered substantial carbon in Earth’s core. The freezing reaction involving iron-carbon liquid could have contributed to the growth of Earth’s inner core and the geodynamo. The redox melting/freezing reaction largely controls the movement of carbon in the modern mantle, and reactions between carbonates and silicates in the deep mantle also promote carbon mobility. The ten-year activity of the Deep Carbon Observatory has made important contributions to our knowledge of how these reactions are involved in the cycling of carbon throughout our planet, both past and present, and helped to identify gaps in our understanding that motivate and give direction to future studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Mineralogist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • Inner core
  • Geodynamo
  • Subduction
  • Diamond
  • Carbonate
  • Carbon-rich fluids and melts
  • Oxygen fugacity
  • Metal-silicate partitioning
  • Redox freezing and melting


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